First Time Buyer Index shows the home buying process remains difficult for new buyers

POSTED: 11th November 2019
IN: Newsroom
  • Prospective first time buyers in the UK views of the home buying journey remain negative, with 29% believing that getting on ladder is still very difficult. This remains in line with 2018 (28%)
  • However, they see raising a deposit as less of an obstacle than they did last year
  • One in four (28%) feel their family is putting them under pressure to buy
  • Nearly two thirds (61%) of recent first time buyers found the house buying process confusing and two in five (39%) say the stress of it made them feel ill, with 57% saying they’d spent more than planned
  • One in three (32%) recent first-time buyers also experienced a property sale fall through costing an average loss of £2,157 and a delay in home buying of seven months

Research from Aldermore’s First Time Buyer Index1 reveals that prospective first time buyers continue to view buying a home as challenging, with over one in four (29%) saying that getting on the property ladder is very difficult and nearly two-thirds (64%) believe achieving the goal is currently a pipedream for them.

Raising a deposit still the biggest challenge but less so than before

Over a quarter (28%) of those looking to buy their first home say raising a deposit was the biggest obstacle to doing so, a decrease from 40% in 2018 suggesting options to assist such as low-deposit mortgages and saving schemes like the Help to Buy ISA have eased this particular challenge for some. Finding an affordable property was seen as the second largest hurdle (23%).

Pressure from family to buy

Housing buying in Britain is still very much the norm, often considered a step towards adulthood. And while it’s something most young adults aspire to (81%), it is also something that is expected of them by their family, and this can add to the stress. One in four (28%) would-be first time buyers say their family are putting them under pressure to own a property and 60% feel that buying a house is expected of them at their current age. In addition, nearly a third (29%) of prospective first-time buyers are currently living with friends or family to help save for a deposit, and a further 38% would consider it in the future, which could be adding to the feeling of family pressure.

Extra unexpected costs add to the toil 

A third (32%) of recent first-time buyers experienced a property sale fall through before buying, resulting in an average loss of £2,157, rising to an average of £2,855 in London, and this causes an average delay of seven months. This in part added to the three-fifths (57%) of recent first time buyers who say they spent more than intended. It appears many still see the fundamental parts of the home buying process remain tricky, with three in five (60%) agree that the process is overly complicated and 39% said the stress of the buying process made them feel ill.

Damian Thompson, Director of Mortgages at Aldermore, says: “First time buyers are a key driver of the mortgage market and the desire to own your own home remains a strong aspiration in the UK. It is concerning to see so many first time buyers find the home buying process difficult and stressful, especially as by contrast they are overwhelmingly positive about actually becoming home owners2. Understanding the difficulties and unique challenges this generation of new buyers face is vital so the industry can work better together with brokers to make the journey as enjoyable and rewarding as the destination.

“At Aldermore, we provide a personal approach to lending that guides new buyers through the process and considers each case on an individual basis. Making the home buying process easy to navigate and inclusive process, that doesn’t put barriers in the way of worthy borrowers, should be what the industry is working towards.”


1 The figures are sourced from a nationally representative survey conducted by Opinium Research with a sample of 1,004 prospective new house buyers and 509 participants who have bought a house in the past 3 years in the UK.

2 The top two answers when asked ‘How did you feel about becoming a homeowner?’ were a feeling of pride (40%) and a sense that they were moving forward in their life (37%). Only 2% said that they felt regret. 

For further information, journalists can contact:

Gareth Hill, Aldermore
Phone: 07721 127514     

Laura Cronin, Lansons
Phone: 020 7294 3607

Notes to Editors:

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

  • First Time Buyer
  • Mortgages
  • Press Release