Getting the keys to that first home is a major milestone in anyone's life, but now it seems as though more and more would-be first-time buyers have to test out the waters by renting first, sometimes for several years, before they can make the final leap to homeownership.
Research carried out by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks discovered that more than half (54%) of the UK's first-time buyers now rent before they make their first house purchase. A further 6% begin by renting but then move back to their family home in order to save money for a deposit.
This reality explains the booming nature of the Private Rented Sector (PRS), as well as the increased timeframe in which first-time buyers can expect to buy their first home. In fact, the research found that 67% of first-time buyers were having to wait longer than planned to make this all-important purchase, with more than half of those questioned admitting that it had taken up to three years longer than anticipated.
As house prices have continued to increase, the need for a decent deposit has grown. But to amass such a large sum of money while paying out often costly sums on rent is no easy task. As a result, it is unsurprising that many first-time buyers return to their childhood home to help them save the necessary funds.
The financial benefits can certainly be worth it, with almost two-fifths (39%) of respondents admitting that they lived at their parents' house rent-free. This was found to be particularly the case in Scotland, where 80% of respondents said that they lived at home without paying any rent, compared with just 46% of those living in London.
Perhaps tellingly, those who are currently renting a property revealed that they felt most under pressure to buy their own home, with 62% of renters expressing this feeling. London residents, who experience some of the highest rents and living costs, also felt the need to buy particularly acutely, with 65% of respondents saying that they felt a strong need to make a purchase.
While it is certainly not easy to take that first step onto the housing ladder, it doesn't have to be an impossible dream. In fact, the market has begun to shift so that there are now more high loan-to-value (LTV) mortgages available. So, if you haven't already, you may want to check out the top Help to Buy msortgages and the best first-time buyer deals. These mortgages require only small deposits of just 5%, which can make getting that all-important deposit together a bit easier.
In the autumn, it will also be possible to open up a Help to Buy ISA, which will give you a little helping hand when it comes to saving up for a house deposit. For every £200 saved in the account, the Government will add £50, up to a maximum of £3,000 overall. However, if you want to open one of these accounts, you must make sure that you do not pay any money into another ISA once the new tax year starts (6 April). If you do, you won't be able to open a Help to Buy ISA until April next year.
Check out the best Help to Buy mortgages
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