Three in 10 first-time buyers pause plans on property purchase

Three in ten (30%) prospective first-time buyers have paused plans to purchase their first property as a result of COVID-19, a new study has revealed.

Findings from financial comparison platform, NerdWallet, found that nearly a quarter (24%) of respondents still expect to purchase their first home within the next year.

NerdWallet commissioned an independent survey of over 600 UK adults who do not currently own a property but aspire to, and also found that 9% of aspiring homeowners had tried unsuccessfully to purchase a property during the stamp duty holiday. A further 5% have been turned down for a mortgage.

However, the research suggested that the vast majority (70%) of hopeful homebuyers remain confident they will achieve their ambitions of home ownership within the next 10 years. 

Furthermore, NerdWallet also revealed that two fifths (40%) of would-be homeowners had already taken steps to improve their credit score in advance of applying for a mortgage.

“COVID-19 has created challenging conditions for the UK mortgage market,” commented NerdWallet director of operations, John Ellmore.

“The resulting economic volatility has led some mortgage providers to tighten their lending criteria and, as such, some first-time homebuyers may find securing a mortgage more challenging than they may otherwise have done. 

“Positively, however, Britons appear to be taking steps to prepare themselves for mortgage applications – and this should be a sign of better things to come. From taking advantage of government-backed 95% mortgages, to improving credit ratings, our research suggests that prospective buyers are being proactive in their efforts to make homeownership a reality.”

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