First time buyer reality check - pressure causes relationship strain and stress says Aldermore

POSTED: 5th May 2017
IN: Newsroom
  • Over a third (35%) of recent first time buyers say the stress of the buying process made them ill and 34% say it caused issues in their relationship
  • Over a quarter (27%) of first time buyers delayed buying their home by more than two years
  • One in five (20%) had to wait between six to 10 years to save for a deposit
  • Nearly one in five (17%) of recent first time buyers took three or more attempts to buy their home

The latest research from Aldermore’s quarterly First Time Buyer Index[1] explores the impact of the difficulties faced by first time buyers in the current housing market. The results show the process of buying a first property causes so much stress for some people it has made them ill (35%) or caused issues in their relationship (34%).

This stress is understandable. Aldermore’s figures show nearly one in five (17%) recent first time buyers took three or more attempts to buy their home, while a quarter (27%) had to delay by more than two years. The impact of the buying process even resulted in two fifths (40%) of respondents feeling like they have had to rebuild their life due to the compromises they had to make to get on the housing ladder.

Hurdles and sacrifices

The Index also reveals the most common hurdles recent first time buyers had to overcome and the sacrifices they made in order to buy their first home. The main challenge for nearly a fifth (18%) of respondents was raising a deposit - one in five (20%) had to wait between six to 10 years to save enough money. In order to do so, over a third (37%) cut back on taking holidays and eating out.

Nearly one in 10 (9%) found the actual process of securing a mortgage the biggest difficulty, and the same number (10%) cited the whole buying process as the biggest problem. For a further 8% of first time buyers it was the length of the purchase process.

Getting on the housing ladder

When asked what could be done to improve the situation, almost a third (32%) recent first time buyers requested the issue of rising house prices to be addressed. For over one in three (34%) respondents, simplifying the whole buying process would help, while three in ten (30%) believe the situation would improve if better mortgage products were available.

In control of life

In the end though, the positives outweigh the negatives. Nearly three quarters (73%) of recent first time buyers felt like they had reached adulthood when they got the keys to their first home, and almost seven in ten (69%) found that putting their own stamp on their new home to be an empowering experience.

Three quarters (75%) of recent first time buyers feel they are no longer wasting money on rent, and 70% believe owning their own home gives them financial control.

Charles McDowell says: “Our latest quarterly first time buyer index reveals the issues recent first time buyers have faced when getting on the property ladder and the impact this is having on their day-to-day lives. Buying a first home is an empowering experience and can provide financial control, but our research shows the sacrifices being made by first time buyers to reach that first rung of the property ladder are negatively impacting their health and personal relationships.

“The affordability ratio has doubled since 19972, demand is currently outmatching supply, and these difficulties are directly impacting first time buyers’ wellbeing. First time buyers are the driving force of the property market, but they are currently being priced out. More needs to be done to tackle these issues to ensure they have the best opportunity to buy their dream home.

“Almost one in ten (9%) found the process of securing a mortgage the biggest difficulty which is why at Aldermore we are committed to helping to those who are struggling to gather a deposit by offering a range of products, including the family guarantee mortgage and 95% mortgages for customers who have a smaller deposit.”


For further information, journalists can contact:

Rachael Snelling, Aldermore
Phone:          0208 1853 102

Follow us on Twitter: @AldermoreNews

Rozie Green, Lansons
Phone:          0207 566 9724

Notes to Editors:

1Aldermore’s Q1 2017 First Time Buyer Index research was conducted by Opinium Research between 21 to 26 February 2017 amongst 502 actual FTBs. Our sample has been weighted to reflect a nationally representative audience


For further information about Aldermore, please review our Notes to Editors page

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