Research produced by financial services group, Legal & General, has shown that one-in-five first time buyers in the North-west are choosing to focus their search on rural areas.
Research by the company’s Mortgage Club found that the Covid-19 pandemic had not dissuaded most first-time buyers from their plans, with 93% still considering to buy a new home in 2020.
The new data on the North-west’s first- time buyers counters concerns that the coronavirus pandemic would pose a further barrier to those looking to climb the property ladder, with a third reporting the pandemic having no impact, and an average delay on plans of around seven months.
First time buyers nationally reported greater ability to save during the pandemic, which may go some way to explaining continued eagerness to purchase a home, due to a reduction in spending on social activities and transport during lockdown.
The coronavirus pandemic has had an impact on first time buyers’ preferences to choosing a new home in the North-west – three-quarters rate outside space a priority, with three in ten seeking room for a home office, and a fifth now looking to settle down in a rural location.
Kevin Roberts, Director, Legal & General Mortgage Club, comments:
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 first-time buyers. The mortgage market is already seeing pent-up demand from homebuyers after two months of lockdown. Advisers are busy helping borrowers to find the right mortgage and these findings suggest that this demand is set to continue in 2020 with the majority of prospective homeowners planning to buy this year.
“However, what we are clearly starting to see is a shift in where Britain’s first-time buyers plan to buy. Where the city was once the first choice for many, more are now looking to the suburbs and even rural areas to buy. Remote working and enforced time at home have also both influenced first-time buyers to seek out properties with more ‘office’ and outdoor space. This could lead to a rise in demand in previously overlooked areas, which will need to be matched by housing supply.
“For some buyers, the crisis has even improved their chances of buying their first home by making it easier for them to save towards a deposit. Less money spent on commuting or social activities as helped them increase the amount the putting away each month, which could help to bring their homeownership ambitions forward, especially as lenders return to high loan-to-value lending.”