UK Housebuying Report

19th April 2022

Ever wondered what makes the 'ideal' forever home in the UK? Us too. Luckily, Safestyle - one of the UK’s leading suppliers of windows and doors- conducted research into the nation's house-buying habits, to reveal what age Brits are able to buy their first property and how attitudes differ nationwide.

You can listen below for more information and discussion regarding the concept of a forever home, with our chat with David Domoney, resident gardener on ITV1’s This Morning.

The 'Love Your Garden' star offers a valuable perspective and insight into our survey findings, chatting about the impact Covid has had on what we view as our 'forever home' and the increasing importance of garden space.

First-time buyer attitudes across the UK

Our survey showed that across the UK the age of first-time buyers ranged from young to old, with data showing that the average age for a Brit to buy their first home is 28.

Unsurprisingly, though, this does differ from region to region. In places such as Yorkshire, the West Midlands, the North East, and the East of England, this age has been historically lower by a few years.

On average, first-time buyers across the UK bought their homes for £146,692. Again, this figure is slightly lower in regions such as Yorkshire and the North East, as well as Scotland and Wales.

This all comes down to one thing: supply and demand. The perception that the South East and London offer more opportunities, jobs, and wealth, in turn makes it, for some, the most desirable place in England to live thus generating more housing and demand.

UK housebuying report

What types of properties do Brits look for for their first home?

Our survey shows that 35% of people bought a new build for their first home with 27% percent buying a renovation project to invest in.

Renovation is becoming an increasingly popular choice for first time buyers, and dedicating your time to doing up your home is a sure fire way to get yourself up on the property ladder!

On top of this, data shows that 36% of people bought a terraced house for their first home, with 46% purchasing a 3 bedroom house. Unsurprisingly, many respondents required financial help to purchase their first home, with 73% of people buying with another person supporting their income.

How many people stay in their very first home?

On average, those in their 30s are already in their 'forever home', with one- third of Brit's first homes being their 'forever homes'.

It is interesting to consider these statistics in the context of what we previously discussed. From this, it can perhaps be argued that if you wait to buy your first property until your 30s as opposed to in your 20s, you’re more likely to find the perfect property for you and stay in it.

There may be various reasons for this: increased financial stability and assets in your 30s may allow for the opportunity to purchase your first home with more bedrooms, in an ideal location or even with a garage. Thus, when it comes to buying your first home, some are sorted for life!

What makes the ideal forever home?

A forever home is a home for life, that has everything you could think of. But what do Brits really look for in their dream property?

Well, according to our survey data, the most popular forever home would be situated in the countryside, with 32 percent of participants desiring this. A countryside home was most popular amongst our North East survey participants with nearly 50% claiming this to be their ideal home.

On the other hand, 24% of our participants desired a bungalow as their ideal home, most popular in Scotland and amongst the over 55 demographic.

40% of survey participants dream of a three-bedroom property as their ideal forever home, most likely to make sufficient room for family and children. The most sought-after feature of a forever home, though, was by far the garage with a massive 60% of people looking for this.

Below is an asset that depicts the ideal forever home, dreamt up by the majority of Brits across the country.

UK housebuying report

Further detail from the survey findings

Quite surprisingly, 57% of Brits are looking to uproot and move somewhere new, with 43% saying they are happy where they are.

There are various reasons behind those looking to make the big move; some desire greenery, with 43% percent of people saying they would look to move to the countryside. A further 29% would like to be beside the seaside, whereas 20% don't necessarily have a location in mind and would like to take advantage of lower house prices elsewhere.

When it comes down to retirement, however, almost 60% of respondents said they wouldn't move in with a friend in retirement…

All in all, our research is a useful insight into the buying habits and personal preferences of Brits across the country, taking into account important factors such as location, age and gender.

As well as this, the data is a valuable tool to help look at buying with the aim of refurbishment. With almost 70% of participants purchasing their forever home with the intention to renovate, it's clear that this is becoming a more viable option in today's housing market. Many buyers do so in order to afford the size of the property they need in the area they want to live in.

If this is the case, it's important to check and assess the windows and the doors on the property you have in mind! With most renovation projects being antiquated, out of date houses, it is possible that the windows won't have necessary features such as double glazing.

There are tell tale tips and tricks to see if your windows need replacing, such as if they’re letting in draughts or if there is an issue with condensation. If it's time to replace your windows on your renovation property, consider uPVC windows which are generally better insulators than aluminium or even wood.

Luckily, it's never been easier to renovate your house using our swap shop! Simply use our online calculator to see how much your windows are worth- you could get up to £100 for each old window and door to put towards new ones.

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