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'Faff' now stopping more people from moving home than mortgage rates or outgoings - Home Buyers Report June 2021

As the economy reopens, and the property market gets hotter, it seems Brits not already part of the home buying process are cooling on the idea of getting a new home any time soon - with the hassle of getting involved simple too much for many to bear
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Home Buyers Report June 2021

Our latest Home Buyers Report shows that hassle is a core barrier preventing people from buying their first house or moving up the property ladder.

Data compiled for money.co.uk shows that 22% of people cite “faff” as one of the biggest barriers to purchasing a property, overtaking financial considerations such as mortgage rates and having too many outgoings.

Earnings remained the top barrier for the second month running, with building up a deposit and mortgage availability in second and third place respectively.

What is the biggest barrier for you, if anything, with regards to purchasing a property?

What is the biggest barrier for you, if anything, with regards to purchasing a property?

Updated 1 June 2021
June 2021May 2021% change
Mortgage availability25%28%-3%
Faff / Hassle22%18%+4%
Interest rates17%20%-3%
Too many outgoings17%19%-2%

What we're willing to spend

Why you need to know your broadband consumer rights

The study also looked into how people are planning to finance their next home purchase, asking about the maximum deposits people are considering, how much equity they have in existing homes and the price they are expecting to sell for.

Overall, the average maximum deposit rose slightly from 37.92% to 39.85%. The most popular range for deposits were 10-15% and 16-25%, with just 3% of people looking at 5% deposit mortgages, suggesting the government’s 95% mortgage guarantee is less useful than ministers might have hoped.

Equity levels of existing homeowners surveyed have not shifted massively, despite reports of surging prices, although the average amount of equity has risen a little.

In April, Brits said they had £148,640.26 in equity on average, compared to £180,444.66 this month. However, they felt the asking prices for their existing houses were lower at £317,156.08 compared with £323,101.20 in May. 

The average price people were prepared to pay for their next property also fell from £289,072.99 in April to £285,357.45.

When purchasing your next property, how much of the total value are you considering / would you consider paying as a deposit?

When purchasing your next property, how much of the total value are you considering / would you consider paying as a deposit? % of Total Value

Updated 1 June 2021
DepositJune 2021
5 - 9%3%
N/A / not sure19%

Brits putting off house moves

Overall, it appears Brits are getting more reluctant to move, with fewer people saying that house price falls, pay rises and tax breaks would tempt them to buy a property more quickly. Just 37% of people said a drop in house prices would accelerate their plans, compared to 44% last month.

In fact, children leaving home was the only factor that has increased month on month, with 10% saying it would speed up the process compared to eight per cent in April. The number of people that said nothing would make them move faster also rose – with 14% of respondents confirming this is the case.

Government support schemes seem to be falling flat too, as there are fewer people considering them than this time last month. The number of people that said they would not consider any government help scheme rose from 36% to 44%. 

The most popular scheme remained Right to Buy – with 22% of people saying they have used or intend to use it. A Help to Buy Equity Loan was in second place (16%), while shared ownership came third (15%). Given that half of those surveyed were first time buyers, the low take of the schemes suggests that they are not fit for purpose.

If you're not looking to buy a property in the next month, what, if anything, would make you consider moving sooner?

If you're not looking to buy a property in the next month, what, if anything, would make you consider moving sooner?

Updated 1 June 2021
Reason to moveJune 2021May 2021MoM % change
House price falls37%44%-7%
Pay rise34%39%-5%
New job/retirement20%23%-3%
Working from home18%18%0%
Tax breaks (ie stamp duty)16%18%-2%
Having (more) children12%15%-3%
N/A; nothing would make me consider moving sooner14%11%+3%
Children leaving home10%8%+2%

May's Money.co.uk Home Buyers report

What people are looking for in a new home

The final part of the study examines what people are looking for in a new property. Unsurprisingly, number of bedrooms remained the most important factor, selected by 40% of respondents. Outside space came joint top in May, rising by one per cent from last month. Parking and kitchens are also critical drivers of desirability and were important to 29% of people.

Smart home features and how the house looks from the outside were the two least important factors when it comes to finding a property you love, selected by just eight and 12% of people respectively.

In terms of location factors, local shops took the top spot for the second month running, and was identified as key by 36% of people. Parks / beach / natural environment nearby stayed in second place, although there was a slight dip in the number of people who ticked it from 32% to 31%. Crime overtook transport links to become the third most important factor that people are considering.

Local bars and restaurants were deemed to be fairly unimportant and were only selected by 16% of people. Leisure options was in last place, with just 12% of respondents saying it was an important factor when choosing a house. 

We also asked which features people look for most in a potential property. Unsurprisingly, number of rooms was most important and was selected by almost half the respondents (45%). Garages are also high on the hitlist – with 42% of people saying they are one of their top three most important features. Interestingly, wooden floors have got even more popular, rising above security and gating for this month’s rating. 

The least important features were indoor gyms and pools, which were selected by 6% and 8% of people respectively. Third from the bottom was a home office – which was selected by just 12% of people, perhaps reflecting the ending of lockdown and return to office-based work for many.

One of the bigger changes from last month is the number of people who would prefer not to buy a newly built house.

We asked people whether – all other things being equal – they would prefer a new build or an existing house. 43% of respondents selected existing home, compared to 27% of people who didn’t mind either way and just 30% of people who would prefer a new home. Last month, 32% said they preferred a new build, meaning it has dropped by 5% on May's numbers.

Availability of desirable property is a concern, with just 9% of people saying there is a high supply of properties that meet their requirements within budget and in the right area. 47% indicated medium availability and 29% said there is low availability. Fortunately, only 3% said there is no availability at all.

Which of the following factors, if any, do you consider to be the most important when looking at a property to purchase?

Which of the following factors, if any, do you consider to be the most important when looking at a property to purchase?

Updated 1 June 2021
FeatureJune 2021May 2021MoM % change
Outside space40%39%+1%
Parking options29%30%-1%
How old/new it is19%20%-1%
Connectivity (good broadband speed/phone signal)16%17%-1%
Pet friendly13%16%-3%
Kerb appeal (how it looks from outside)12%11%+1%
Smart home features8%9%-1%

What factor(s), if any, do you consider to be the most important in terms of location for a property to purchase?

What factor(s), if any, do you consider to be the most important in terms of location for a property to purchase?

Updated 1 June 2021
AmenityJune 2021May 2021MoM % change
Local shops36%33%+3%
Parks/beach/natural environment nearby31%32%-1%
Transport links26%28%-2%
Low crime levels27%28%-1%
Closeness of friends/family27%27%0%
Ease of commute23%26%-3%
Local bars/restaurants16%14%+2%
Leisure options12%14%-2%

UK cities that care the most about friends, family and fun when buying

There was a real split across what buyers wanted in different areas of the UK, with home movers in Belfast, Edinburgh, Brighton, Glasgow and Plymouth motivated by very different things.

In Belfast, home movers said their area was vital to them - with the city ranking top for people looking for low crime and good schools. It also saw home movers care the least about local bars, views and smart home features. Kitchens, however, mattered more there than anywhere else.

In Edinburgh, people moving said schools, leisure options, kitchens and bathrooms mattered less to them than home movers in any other major city surveyed. What do they care about? Well, the city ranked top for people looking for a good view from their windows.

Over in Glasgow friends mattered most - with the city ranking top for the number of people wanting to move near their friends and families. Perhaps as a result, it also ranked top for people wanting their home to look good from the kerb. Bedrooms, however, are less important, with residents of the Scottish city saying they mattered less to them than anywhere else surveyed.

People in Brighton were looking for fun nearby - with the seaside resort topping our list for interest in local shops, bars, outside space for their homes and bathrooms. By contrast, residents cared the least about having friends nearby.

Along the south coast in Plymouth, residents took the opposite view to local shops - rating them as less important than anywhere else in Britain. Instead, residents of the naval city were keener on having a good commute, nearby leisure options and smart home features than anywhere else in our survey.

Most and least important property features

Updated 1 June 2021
Property featureMost important inLeast important in
BedroomsNottingham (48%)Glasgow (31%)
Outside spaceBrighton (53%)London (34%)
ParkingNewcastle (38%)Liverpool (17%)
KitchenBelfast (41%)Edinburgh(19%)
Age of houseNewcastle (27%)Leeds (13%)
BathroomsBrighton (34%)Edinburgh (11%)
ConnectivityBristol (22%)Leeds (12%)
Pet friendlySouthampton (24%)Liverpool (9%)
ViewEdinburgh (25%)Belfast (6%)
Kerb appealGlasgow (19%)Southampton (6%)
Smart home featuresPlymouth (19%)Belfast (3%)

Most and least important neighbourhood amenities

Updated 1 June 2021
Neighbourhood amenityMost important inLeast important in
Local shopsBrighton (53%)Plymouth (28%)
Parks/beach/natureSouthampton (44%)Liverpool (23%)
Low crimeBelfast (38%)Plymouth (17%)
Transport linksNewcastle (33%)Liverpool (17%)
Friends nearbyGlasgow (37%)Brighton (21%)
SchoolsBelfast (35%)Edinburgh (14%)
CommutePlymouth (32%)Cardiff (15%)
Local restaurants and barsBrighton (25%)Belfast (3%)
Leisure optionsPlymouth (23%)Edinburgh (5%)

Price range planning

Across the country budgets for buying a new home differ significantly. We report each month on the price range prospective buyers from across the UK have budgeted for their next property purchase.

This month the national average house price budget has fallen by £3,721 from £289,078 to £285,357.

Regionally the North West saw budgets fall the most from £257,6356 last month to £215,969 this month (-£41,667).

At the other end of the market, budgets in the Greater London region shot up by +£104,859 from last month's average budget of £314,969 to this month's £419,828. However, in the City of London budgets rose by far less at +£21,753 on average.

Outside the capital, budgets in Manchester fell the most (-£55,276), whereas Newcastle saw the biggest leap in budgets from £233.685 to £260,268 (+£36,584).

Updated 1 June 2021
June 2021May 2021£ change
National average£285,357£289,078-£3,721
East of England£325,157£314,969+£10,188
Greater London£419,828£314,969+£104,859
East Midlands£233,279£273,107-£39,828
West Midlands£266,125£278,039-£11,914
North East£262,500£227,543+£34,958
North West£215,969£257,636-£41,667
Northern Ireland£212,501£187,501+£25,000
South East£321,016£316,438+£4,579
South West£284,254£269,931£14,323
Yorkshire and the Humber£221,965£244,383-£22,418
CityJune 2021May 2021£ change

If you're a first time buyer or looking to move house or remortgage, we can help you find the best mortgage deal to suit your needs.

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