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Four in 10 first-time buyers can buy sooner because of pandemic

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Savings have been boosted by an extra £500 a month as lockdowns have stopped us from going out and spending money
Four in 10 first-time buyers can buy sooner because of pandemic

More than two-in-five (44%) first-time buyers said they’ll be able to purchase a property sooner than they previously thought, as a direct effect of the Covid-19 crisis, said Yorkshire Building Society.

The mutual found that almost half (48%) said they’ve been able to save more towards their first home during the pandemic, because of of lockdowns and fewer opportunities to spend.

Aspiring buyers boosted their monthly savings by an average extra £500 a month.

Still facing delays

Despite their savings being accelerated, first-time buyers face an average wait of four years to save enough to buy a home. Almost a third (31%) said they expect they will have been saving up to two years, but a fifth (22%) said it could be nearer to ten years of saving before they have enough money to buy their first home.

The mutual also found that a fifth (21%) said the pandemic had actually delayed their plans.

Ben Merritt, senior mortgage manager at Yorkshire Building Society, said: “Our research shows that for those who have benefitted financially from the impact of the Covid-19 crisis, it’s fuelled the ability to save more for a first home and brought the first step on the property ladder closer than people previously expected.

“The first-time buyer market is swiftly heading back to pre-Covid levels of mortgage choice and availability, and with smaller deposit options having made a comeback, and new government support on the table, first-time buyers could have good reason to be optimistic.

“However with a fifth of first-time buyers having had their plans delayed by the pandemic, and the same saying they expect to have to save for up to a decade, it’s a stark reminder that the upfront costs of purchasing a house still prove too big a barrier to overcome for some.”

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