High rent is the main obstacle for first-time buyers

High rent is the main obstacle for first-time buyers

A new study has offered up the main reasons why first-time buyers are struggling to get a foot on the property ladder.

The poll, commissioned by Tiles Direct, asked 10,000 UK residents what they think is the single biggest obstacle to first-time buyers saving for a deposit on a home.

High rent prices, the cost of living and a shortage of well-paid job opportunities took the top spots.

Some 38% of those surveyed – and more than half of those aged 25-34 – said that rents are too high to save for a deposit.

A further 21% blamed the cost of living, while 18% said the greatest barrier for first-time buyers was a scarcity of well-paid employment prospects.

More than a fifth of women cited poor job prospects as their main obstacle to owning their own home.

Although rent and the high cost of living were the principal reasons why first-time buyers find it hard to cobble together a deposit, some participants laid the blame at the feet of Generation Y.

They argued this demographic – those born between 1980 and 2000 – were the architects of their own downfall, with 6% saying irresponsible spending by prospective first-time buyers was the main reason why they were finding it so difficult to get onto the property ladder.

Others added that a lack of motivation to save was the biggest obstacle for first-time buyers, with 18% of those aged 54-64 years old considering this to be the root cause of their troubles.

More remarkably, 17% of 18-24 year olds – who would come under the umbrella of Generation Y – agreed with this viewpoint, referring to a failure to save (10%) and reckless spending as the two major reasons why people of their generation can’t purchase a home.

Poor interest rates – which have been held at record lows of 0.5% since 2009 – were blamed by 15% of over-65s for making deposits so difficult to scrape together, with the lack of incentives to keep money in the bank harming the ability of those looking to save up for their first home.

The research also found that the UK’s supply shortage, sky-high house prices and the increasing dominance of the private rented sector were other reasons why people believe first-time buyers are finding it tricky to dip their toes into the property market for the first time.

As we wrote in a piece a few weeks ago, the lot of first-time buyers is improving and the number of first-time buyers purchasing homes is on the rise – helped in part by restrictions on buy-to-let investors and numerous government schemes.

That said, this survey proves there are still many possible issues and stumbling blocks in the way of first-time buyers, which is why more still needs to be done to make sure this demographic isn’t excluded from home-ownership in the future.