Spiralling house prices, low stock and one of the most competitive markets on record are failing to deter prospective buyers from their homeownership dreams this year, according to newly released figures from Market Financial Solutions.
The bridging lender commissioned an independent survey among more than 2,000 UK adults. It found that 18% intend to purchase property this year, including 34% of those aged 18-34.
Among renters, 14% plan to buy their first home. Among existing homeowners, 14% plan to sell up and move home in 2022, while 6% hope to purchase an additional investment property.
Of those planning to buy a property this year, 43% say they will look in a different area to where they currently live because the rise of remote working means they do not need to be in the same location. 50% want a property that has more space as the pandemic means they spend more time at home.
66% of prospective homebuyers are worried about inflation and rising house prices, which they say will hinder their chances to buy in 2022. Further, 38% said that the complexities and long waiting times involved in getting a mortgage are major challenges when looking to buy a property.
MFS’ research also revealed how UK adults expect house prices to perform over the coming 12 months. 63% believe they will rise, with 29% predicting they will stay roughly the same and 8% thinking they will fall.
More generally, the study showed that 40% of UK adults say the pandemic has changed what matters to them in a home – this is particularly true among those aged 18-34 (53%).
Paresh Raja, CEO of MFS, said: “After a frenetic year for the property market in 2021, in which house prices rose sharply, there is a great deal of speculation as to how 2022 will unfold. Our new research shows we should not expect any sudden slowdown; the fact that 18% of UK adults – over 9 million people – intend to buy a property in the coming 12 months shows that demand remains sky-high.
“Yet our research also underlines the challenges that stand in front of prospective buyers. The so-called ‘race for space’ means that competition for certain properties – such as houses with gardens and spare rooms for home offices – will be fierce. Meanwhile, rising inflation, the potential for further interest rates hikes, and delays in securing mortgages could also act as stumbling blocks for those looking to buy property.
“Forward planning will be crucial for anyone looking to buy a new home or invest in property. Having their finances in order and, if required, a lender in place will ensure they can act with speed and confidence, which will improve their chances of being successful in a competitive market.”