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First Time Buyers Advised Against 'Overstretching' Property Budgets

Aug 18, 2007
A rising proportion of first-time buyers are looking to purchase a home located near their place of work, it has been suggested.

In research conducted by Alliance & Leicester Mortgages' movingimproving index, just over half (51 per cent) of those consumers looking to get their first foot on the property ladder rate living close to the workplace as the most crucial factor when choosing where to buy a home. An additional 34 per cent of respondents ranked good transport links as a vital feature when opting to purchase a house.

Meanwhile, 28 and 17 per cent respectively saw closeness to friends and family and the proximity of shops and nightlife as important aspects. The desire to live near workplaces was attributed to a need among consumers to reduce as much pressure on their day-to-day finances as possible.

Stephen Leonard, director of mortgages for Alliance & Leicester, said: "Many first-time buyers are obliged to look closely at their priorities and overheads when they move. Clearly choosing the right location is key to long-term happiness in a new home, but buyers should also be careful not to overstretch their budgets and may opt for a short commute to work to help keep costs down".

Findings from the financial services provider also revealed that 40 per cent of those Britons currently renting want to purchase a property but are currently unable to do so. In contrast, 52 per cent of potential first-time buyers currently living at home claim that they are unwilling to move out. With Alliance & Leicester pointing to research from the Office of National Statistics revealing that the average house bought by a typical first-time buyer accounted for 145,970 pounds last year, renters were indicated as having more realistic projections on the value of accommodation.

Consumers looking to a purchase a property while still living with their parents are reported to be prepared to pay 137,796 pounds to make their initial steps on the housing market. However, this figure is some 8,174 pounds below the typical price for a first-time buyer's home. On the other hand, those renting are aiming to spend an average of 152,731 pounds - more than 6,700 pounds above the usual price paid for a property. "It's interesting to see that many still living with their parents are actually looking to spend the least on a property and may well be underestimating the cost of buying their first home, while renters appear to have a more realistic idea about moving and buying expenses", Mr Leonard added.

Last month, findings from the National Housing Federation (NHF) indicated that increasing property prices in rural regions are increasingly unaffordable for young first-time buyers, who are heading towards town and cities in response. According to the NHF, the typical house in the country cost 240,222 pounds last year, in comparison to 196,700 pounds in metropolitan areas. The study also revealed that a consumer living on their own in the country would have to earn around 41,000 pounds a year just to be able to afford secured loans costs. Gina King, head of region for the federation, added that such consumers are "stranded between not being able to afford to buy or rent in these largely expensive markets".
About the Author
Steve Smith writes for 1 Stop Finance Shop, where our visitors have access to all types of finance from payday loans and unsecured tenant loans, to self employed loans for homeowners.
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