Property: Movers becoming more likely to buy than first-time buyers

First-time buyers are less likely to buy property than movers, with research predicting a change in the market.

The highest proportion of sales in the property market for more than a year was attributed to first-time buyers, according to the property website Zoopla, but the impact of the coronavirus has altered the market, with the dynamic predicted to change in the next couple of years.

The lockdown measures, introduced in March, saw the property market grind to a halt, while many people also reconsidered their property situation after spending a significant amount of time around the home due to the lockdown measures, and also many people working from home.

Property ideals have also changed for many, with gardens and outdoor space becoming a higher priority while being closer to family has also become a key factor in property moves.

However, first-time buyers have seen the mortgage lending criteria tighten, with lenders demanding larger deposits and employment guarantees, which Zoopla predicts will result in home movers becoming the more likely buyers in the next year.

A build-up of property demand in addition to the stamp duty holiday has led to an increase in property transactions in recent months, with agreed sales of properties with two bedrooms or fewer increasing by 36 per cent in August, year-on-year.

Richard Donnell, Research and Insight Director at Zoopla, said: “First-time buyers have been a driving force of housing sales over the last decade.

“They remain a key buyer group but lower availability of higher loan to value mortgages and increased movement by existing homeowners means a shift in the mix of home buyers into 2021.”

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Nick Davies
Nick is the Head of Property in our London office, having joined in the firm in 2005. His expertise covers a wide range of real estate transactions, with cases including both residential and commercial property deals, shops, pubs, restaurants, development sites, offices, lease renewals, enfranchisement, litigation and corporate support.