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A recent survey of first time buyers across England has revealed that 39% of prospective purchasers now have a deposit saved to put towards their first home, with over 27% of participants having been able to save more money since the start of the pandemic. 

The survey, commissioned by leading affordable property portal Share to Buy and housing association Peabody, revealed that many hopeful buyers were now in a more positive financial position since March 2020. Often seen as the biggest hurdle on the journey to home ownership, 19% of those surveyed revealed they have saved a deposit of at least £20,000, ready to purchase their first property. In the capital, well-known for its fiercely competitive market, the figures are even higher – the survey found that a whopping 41% of Londoners have a deposit saved and 36% have saved a deposit of over £20,000. Reaffirming the increasing determination to become a homeowner in the capital, 33% of Londoners were able to save more since the start of the pandemic. 

Able to save more money for their first home, 53% of respondents said they are now more keen to purchase a home since the start of the pandemic , despite the resulting economic and financial uncertainty – with only 4.5% of respondents saying that they were less inclined to consider home ownership since the pandemic. 

In addition to having their deposits saved, buyers are now turning toward home ownership for financial stability. The majority of participants noted that the desire to have their name on a mortgage was one the main reasons for wanting to become a homeowner – with 64% stating that making the switch from rental payments to mortgage payments is one of their top reasons for wanting to purchase a property, likely in an effort to reinvest their hard earned and saved money back into themselves.  

As buyers seek more security in the face of the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, having a place to call their own is in the top three reasons pushing England’s first time buyers, all who have registered their interest in an alternative home ownership scheme such as Shared Ownership or Help to Buy, onto the property ladder. 57% of surveyed buyers stated that one of their motivations to buy was to have a home they can personalise, without the fear of a landlord’s repercussion. 

Nick Lieb, Head of Operations for Share to Buy comments, “During a time where we’re spending more time inside than ever before, first time buyers are more motivated to find a place they can really call their own. It is encouraging to see that this determination to get on the path toward home ownership has not faltered over the last year and we’re seeing buyers rely more on online resources, such as the Share to Buy website, with over two thirds of our surveyed buyers  revealing they head online for advice on the buying process. We experienced this increase in motivation first hand at Share to Buy during 2020, where we saw record numbers of new registrants on our property portal – looking ahead, we’re committed to helping first time buyers understand all of their options when it comes to buying a property, helping even more buyers find their new home in 2021.” 

Lisa Crush, Director of Sales and Marketing for Peabody comments, After spending most of 2020 inside, where we live has never felt more important – our appreciation for our immediate surroundings and the lifestyle that fits with the environment will last well into 2021 and is at the forefront for buyers starting their property search. The home is now much more than the four walls we live in and we are placing greater emphasis on adaptable spaces and amenities such as access to outdoor spaces and co-working and fitness facilities. At Peabody, we are working to create a positive difference for thousands of first time buyers across the country while continuing our commitment to our communities.”

About this data: The online survey was conducted by Dataloft 1st-14th December 2020 using a database of first time buyers who had registered an interest in purchasing a property via property portal Share to Buy or directly with Peabody. 

Property portal Share to Buy is the UK’s leading independent website for first time buyers, listing over 4,000 Shared Ownership and Help to Buy homes, as well as providing a wealth of impartial educational resources and how-to guides aimed at those starting out on their property search. 

Peabody is one of the UK’s leading housing associations – creating the highest quality homes for first time buyers across London and the south-east. Peabody has over 158 years of experience and expertise in managing property, now managing over 66,000 properties. Creating homes in great locations which are safe, easy to maintain, and long-lasting.

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