English national Survey: First-time buyer numbers rise 14%

Posted on Tuesday, December 29, 2020

The number of first-time buyers increased by 14% from 727,000 in 2018/19 to 827,0000 in the year to April, the latest English Housing Survey has shown.

The annual research published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government also shows that the average age of first-time buyers decreased slightly from 33 in 2018/19 to 32 in 2019/20, while in London it fell from 37 to 34, although the sample size was small.

But despite these small improvements, the overall levels of home ownership did not change year on year, remaining at 65% of all households or 15.4m out of 23.8m.

However, home ownership has increased since 2016/17 when 63% of households were owner occupiers.

Of all households, around 35% own their homes outright, 30% have a mortgage, just under 19% rent privately and close to 17% are in social rented homes.

Over the last decade, there was an increase in the share proportion of people aged 55-64 living in the private rented sector, from 7% in 2009/10 to 10 per cent in 2019/20.

Over the same period there was a decrease in the proportion of owner occupiers aged 55-64 from 78% to 74%.

The survey further found that over the past 10 years, the percentage of 35-44 year-olds in private rental accommodation has risen from 17% to 27%.

It also revealed that 36% of private renters have children and the number of households in this position has risen by 547,000 in a decade.

Only 56% of those aged 35-44 are owner occupiers – down from 67% a decade earlier.

In 2003/2004, 21% of those aged 25-34 lived in the private rented sector, but now it is more than 40%.

Meanwhile, 59% of private renters expect to buy at some point, but 38% expect it will take them another five years or more.

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