The vast majority, 93 per cent, of first-time buyers report that they are still considering buying a house in 2020, with 51 per cent saying they “definitely” will, shows research from Legal & General.
The report shows that 35 per cent of FTBs say that Covid-19 has had “no impact” on their plans to buy, while the average delay for those that have been hit by it negatively is seven months. For 8 per cent of respondents, Covid-19 means that they can bring their plans forward.
This may be because of saving under lockdown for those fortunate enough to retain an income. In fact, 54 per cent of respondents to Legal & General’s survey say that saving has become easier during the pandemic, with 69 per cent saving more each week than they did before.
The average extra amount saved since the start of the lockdown comes in at £127 a week, which comes to £1,600 over the course of the lock down.
Other direct effects of the pandemic are evident – 22 per cent of those asked now want to move to a more rural area than that of their original plans, and those looking for a home office have doubled – from 16 per cent to 29 per cent.
“In an interesting twist, says Legal & General Mortgage Club director Kevin Roberts, “Covid-19’s impact hasn’t necessarily been to stop FTBs from moving onto the housing ladder, but instead to change the paths many young people are taking into homeownership.”
Indeed, the research shows that 13 per cent of first-time buyers who had no plans to use Help to Buy say that they now will, while 13 per cent will planned not to will now use a Shared Ownership scheme. For those aged 18 to 24, this number jumps to 22 per cent.
Roberts says: “Homeownership continues to be an aspiration shared by thousands of people across the UK and it is clear from our research that the Covid-19 Crisis has done little to dampen the ambition of the UK’s FTBs.
“The mortgage market is already seeing pent-up demand from homebuyers after two months of lockdown… however, what we are clearly starting to see is a shift in where Britain’s FTBs plan to buy.”