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3.6 years - the average homebuyer ‘waiting list’

24 March 2014
  • Over half of Brits say they are considering a house move but most can’t see themselves being in a position to get going in the next 12 months
  • Those hoping to move have been waiting 3.6 years on average
  • 21% of Brits are worried that they may never afford to buy a house or move

According to a new survey released today 52% of UK adults are considering a house move or getting on the property ladder, but most (63%) think that they will be unlikely to fulfil their new-home dreams in the next 12 months. The costs associated with buying and moving home, together with high house prices, are cited as the main barriers to moving, leaving 21% of those surveyed fearing that they will never afford a house move or to buy a property.

The survey, commissioned by Gocompare.com Home Insurance, found that on average those considering a house move or thinking about buying their first property have been mulling over their plans for 3.6 years. The biggest obstacles to the nation’s housing hopes are: the cost of buying/moving (16%); high house prices in the area they want to buy (16%); the cost of running a house (15%); raising a deposit (14%); uncertainty about job security or income (10%) and a lack of availability of the type of house they would like to buy (9%).

Of those considering a move or buying a house:

  • 15% think that they are unlikely to get moving with their house plans within the next five years. Most (77%) are aged 25 to 34 years. Just under a quarter (24%) of this age group say that getting a deposit together is the main thing holding them back.
  • 18 to 24 year olds (28%) and 25 to 34 year olds (28%) are the most worried that they will never be able to afford to buy a house or move. A quarter of 35 to 44 year olds also fear that they will never be able to buy or move home.
  • 39% of 55 to 64 year olds and a quarter of those aged 65 or over are considering moving. In addition to the costs involved with buying and selling a house, a key factor preventing these people from moving is a lack of availability of the type of housing they want to buy.
  • Of the regions, London has the most residents considering a house move (62%) followed by the South East (57%) and North West (51%).
  • People living in the North East have been waiting, thinking about, or wanting to move the longest, with an average waiting period of 4.3 years, closely followed by those living in the North West (4.2 years) and South West (4 years).
  • Londoners top the list of those who say they are likely to get moving in the next 12 months (44%), followed by people living in Yorkshire and The Humber (42%) and Scotland (40%).     

Ben Wilson from Gocompare.com Home Insurance, commented: “Low interest rates and improved confidence in the economy are creating potentially ideal conditions for the housing market. However, our survey suggests the high costs associated with buying and moving home, together with the requirement to put down a bigger deposit, are preventing many people from realising their property dreams.”

Age band

Considering a move

Average wait

Unlikely to move/buy in next 12 months

Unlikely to move/ buy in next 5 years

Worried will never afford to move/buy

Top three barriers to moving

 



18-24

 



70%

 



1.9  years

 



 



60%

 



31%

 



28%

Cost of running a house (26%)

Cost of buying/moving house (21%)

High prices in area want to buy (16%)

 



25-34

 



77%

 



3 years

 



56%

 



21%

 



28%

Raising a deposit (24%)

Cost of running a house (19%)

High prices in area want to buy (13%)

 



35-44

 



55%

 



4.2 years

 



68%

 



16%

 



25%

Cost of buying/moving house (21%)

Raising a deposit (12%)

Poor credit history/score (12%)

 



45-54

 



48%

 



4.3 years

 



66%

 



13%

 



20%

High prices in area want to buy (21%)

Cost of buying/moving house (16%)

Cost of running a house (13%)

 



55-64

 



39%

 



3.9 years

 



71%

 



10%

 



15%

Cost of buying/moving house (19%)

High prices in area want to buy (18%)

Lack of availability of type of house wanting to buy (16%)

 



65+

 



25%

 



4.3 years

 



68%

 



5%

 



10%

Cost of buying/moving house (18%)

High prices in area want to buy (15%)

Lack of availability of type of house wanting to buy (12%)



Region

Considering a move

Average wait

Unlikely to move/buy in next 12 months

Unlikely to move/buy in next 5 years

Worried will never afford to move/buy

Top three barriers to moving

 



London

 



62%

 



3.5 years

 



56%

 



20%

 



17%

High prices in area want to buy (22%)

Cost of running a house (17%)

Uncertainty about job security/income (14%)

 



North East

 



48%

 



4.3 years

 



66%

 



14%

 



19%

Cost of running a house (19%)

Cost of buying/moving house (18%)

High prices in area want to buy (17%)

 



North West

 



51%

 



4.2 years

 



69%

 



14%

 



24%

Cost of buying/moving house (20%)

High prices in area want to buy (17%)

Uncertainty about job security/income (14%)

 



Yorkshire & The Humber

 



48%

 



3.2 years

 



58%

 



10%

 



21%

Poor credit history/score (16%)

Cost of running a house (15%)

High prices in area want to buy (15%)

 



East Midlands

 



49%

 

3.8 years

 



70%

 



15%

 



20%

Cost of buying/moving house (26%)

High prices in area want to buy (15%)

Raising a deposit (12%)

 



West Midlands

 



49%

 



2.7 years

 



70%

 



22%

 



20%

Cost of running a house (24%)

Cost of buying/moving house (21%)

Raising a deposit (15%)

 



East

 



48%

 



3.9 years

 



69%

 



18%

 



20%

Cost of buying/moving house (20%)

Raising a deposit (19%)

Cost of running a house (14%)

 



South East

 



57%

 



3.2 years

 



62%

 



13%

 



23%

High prices in area want to buy (18%)

Cost of buying/moving house (15%)

Cost of running a house (15%)

 



South West

 



47%

 



4 years

 



66%

 



9%

 



23%

High prices in area want to buy (17%)

Raising a deposit (16%)

Cost of buying/moving house (12%)

 



 



Wales

 



49%

 



3.9 years

 



62%

 



12%

 



20%

Raising a deposit (13%)

Cost of buying/moving house (13%)

Poor credit history/score (12%)

 



Scotland

 



49%

 



3.3 years

 



60%

 



12%

 



19%

Cost of buying/moving house (17%)

High prices in area want to buy (12%)

Raising a deposit (11%)



-ends-

Notes to editors:

On 7th February 2014, Vision Critical conducted an online survey among 2,019 randomly selected British adults who are Springboard UK panellists. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.