UK Finance (previously the Council of Mortgage Lenders) analysed data of the official English Housing survey finding demographic factors had changed the characteristics of FTBs.
2017 marked the 50th anniversary of the English Housing Survey. A survey conducted nationally which takes account of people’s housing circumstance and the condition and energy efficiency of housing in England. It is one of the longest standing surveys in government combining two standalone surveys: the English House Condition Survey and the Survey of English Housing, which were first conducted in 1967.
Some findings of the report are:
Compared with a decade ago, today’s FTBs are older, more likely to buy with a partner, and have dependent children.
The overall number of first time buyers decreased from 922,000 households in 1995-96 to 654,000 in 2015-16. This equates to approximately 3% of all households in England and 5% of all owner occupier households.
The average age of the FTB was 31 (2005-06) and 32 in 2015-16. According to the data the age profile of FTBs has been largely consistent over time, with the majority of FTBs in the 25 to 34 age group.
74% of FTBs were couple households (2015-16), a marked change since 2005-06 (66%). This may be due to an increasing need for two incomes to be able to buy. Over the same period, the proportion of first time buyer households with dependent children increased from 23% to 37%.
First time buyers are increasingly likely to live in privately rented accommodation before they buy, increasing from 39% in 1995-94 to 66% in 2015-16.
First time buyers have higher incomes and more help with funding their deposits than they had 20 years ago.
66% of FTBs were higher rate tax payers in 2015-16.
Between 1995-96 and 2015-16, there was an increase in the proportion of first time buyers that had help from friends and family for their deposit (from 22% to 29%).
Two thirds (64%) of first time buyers pay a deposit for their first home of up to 20%. The average deposit is nearly £50,000; higher in London.
The most common source of deposit reported was savings, which has increased in importance between 2005-06 and 2015-16 (from 66% to 81%).
The full survey can be accessed here