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Lowest rung of the property ladder for first-time buyers

23 August 2007
New research from GE Money Home Lending and The Future Foundation shows more first-time buyers are compromising on size and location in order to get on the property ladder compared with 30 years ago.

A survey revealed that the number of first-time buyers prepared to downsize more than doubled to 27 per cent from just 12 per cent in 1977. In terms of property type, 23 per cent were willing to compromise compared with seven per cent 30 years ago.

The number of first-time buyers refusing to settle for less has fallen from more than one-third of the market in 1977 to just 20 per cent this year, according to the company’s research.

Head of mortgage marketing at GE Money Home Lending, Gerry Bell, explained the reasons behind this: “The fact that more and more first-time buyers are compromising their desires in a first home in order to get on the property ladder can largely be credited to economic factors such as rising house prices; however many are also delaying their purchase of a first home for lifestyle choices.”

“Faced with other factors such as student debts and increasing interest rates, some are finding that they are making compromises in the type of home they wish to purchase, such as size and location, in order to fulfill their home-buying aspirations.”

Other property assets are increasingly being sacrificed by first-time buyers, such as outside space and garages. Apartments are rising in popularity as they are often cheaper than houses.

Mr Bell expressed his concerns, saying: “What we must ensure is that first-time buyers are not making sacrifices in terms of affordability when buying their first home and that they are offered affordable products tailored to their needs.”

Find out more about first-time buyer mortgages