Times are “interesting” for UK home buyers, and they're even more so for those below the age of 35, many of whom have yet to establish themselves in a career. This can be discouraging if you're an investor looking to sell a property, as young home buyers are likely to form a substantial portion of your target market. You're probably wondering what you can do to grab their attention.
What do the numbers tell us?
According to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), only 3% of those buying properties in June 2014 were aged 18 to 30; the lowest ratio of young UK home buyers ever recorded, and a significant drop from the 12% recorded in August last year. According to Paula Higgins, chief executive of the Home Owners Alliance campaign group, “The door is closed to a generation. Young people feel so disenchanted that they are living in their childhood bedrooms when they are 35.”
First-time home buyers of all ages accounted for only 20% of property sales - a 5% drop from May. Such data reflects what has become all too clear to UK home buyers in recent times; prices are too high, and the stricter mortgage lending schemes introduced by the government haven’t helped matters.
What can be done?
If you're set on selling a property to the next generation of buyers, there's not much you can do about the economy or the state of the job market. But what you can do is give yourself a head-start. Sooner or later those kids are going to find their feet and come looking for houses to buy, and when that happens property investors who've done their homework will reap the benefits.
So if you're looking to grab the attention of young home buyers, here's what you should be prioritising:
Make your properties tech-friendly: Young home buyers live in a different world from previous generations; a digital world. They're living through the technology revolution, the dominance of the internet and the rise of mobile devices; and any property that isn't suited to such technologies is a demolition job waiting to happen. On the other hand, properties that come ready-made for wi-fi and digital technologies will have the edge competitively.
According to the Telegraph, reliable mobile signal is the number one priority for young home buyers. Yes, you heard that right, the number one priority; more important even than crime levels and proximity to public transport. Just under half of 18-35-year-olds surveyed said they would reconsider renting or buying a home that had poor mobile coverage, in contrast to 26% of home buyers aged over 55.
Expand the shower space: Big showers are a major draw-card for young working professionals. In fact, aside from poor mobile signal, the next most likely thing to send young home buyers fleeing in terror is a bathroom with no shower.
Use neutral, warm colors: Neutral colours, such as grey, are the best choice if you're looking to appeal to young home buyers. It gives them a blank slate on which they can envision colors that suit their own tastes, whereas outdated wall colours like red or green are more likely to bring to mind their grandparent's old flat.
Advertise proximity to areas of interest: Reluctance to buy a car goes hand-in-hand with reluctance to buy a home, so young home buyers will be more interested in property that removes the first challenge by being close to public transport. Proximity to business centers and restaurants will also be a big advantage. If your property possesses any of these features, be sure to emphasise that fact when promoting it.
Promote functionality: According to First Option, young home buyers aren’t interested in rooms that are just for show, or reserved for specific occasions. Every space in the house needs to be useful, and not just for one night in a month (or year).
Knowing your audience gives you the competitive edge in any industry, and make no mistake, young UK home buyers make up a significant untapped market for property investors. So keep these handy tips in mind, and if you're looking for help with selling a property, don't hesitate to contact us at Tepilo for professional advice on all things related to the housing market.