Aldermore, the specialist finance lender, have released new research showing that half of all first time buyers (FTBs) who began the process of buying a property had the purchase fall through. This cost £2,912 on average, with a total loss from April 2020 to March 2021 of £406,641,036. 50% said it was due to lockdown.
On average, FTBs have delayed their plans to purchase a home by 8.4 months due to the current pandemic. The delays during the process were two months on average for FTBs that bought between March 2020 and March 2021. Extra costs associated with buying during this time were £5,870, and 70% spent more on their house purchase than they had planned to. In total, additional costs for FTBs were £1.67bn from 2020-March 2021.
Covid-19 has changed priorities for many house buyers, with 67% reconsidering the type of property they wish to buy. 66% felt that having an outdoor space such as a garden or balcony was a priority, 62% wanted to be close to family, and 63% more put more importance on having a home office.
Jon Cooper, head of mortgage distribution at Aldermore said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has motivated a great number of people to buy their first home. It is important, alongside raising a deposit, to identify and factor in any additional costs, such as solicitor, valuation and estate agent fees, as well as moving costs, all of which can add up.
“Seeking advice from a financial adviser or broker will help greatly in making the process less confusing. Although buying a house has its challenges, the reward can be great, illustrated by a large number of first-time buyers (84%) who said the stress was worth it and that becoming a homeowner has been extremely rewarding.
“Successive lockdowns over the past year have made us all re-evaluate how we live our lives, and what we need from our homes. It is no longer just a place to live, but a place of work, and where we exercise, educate our kids and socialise. As a result, the data shows a dramatic change in preference in the types of properties new buyers are looking for.”
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Steven Cooper recently took over the role of CEO at Aldermore, following the retirement of Phillip Monks OBE, who founded the bank back in 2009.