Getting a foothold on the UK property ladder is tough, and many aspiring homeowners receive financial support, said Uswitch.
The comparison site said that first-time buyers are using a range of methods to afford their properties.
For example, it found that almost half (45 per cent) of first-time buyers get help from a government scheme while more than a third (34 per cent) get help from their parents.
Only one in 10 first-time buyers (11 per cent) don’t receive any financial support at all.
A helping hand
The most common government scheme used was the First Homes scheme (36 per cent), followed by a Lifetime ISA (29 per cent).
Kellie Steed, Uswitch mortgage expert, said: “When people think about first-time buyer schemes, their mind often jumps to Help to Buy. But the Help to Buy equity loan scheme is no longer available in England, Northern Ireland or Scotland, although those in Wales who are eligible can still apply.
“For English homebuyers, one of the alternatives is the First Homes scheme, which was the most popular amongst survey respondents. Offering a 30 to 50 per cent discount on the market value of a property, it may help those struggling to make that leap onto the property ladder due to affordability. However, there are limitations on the type of properties you can purchase, and certain eligibility criteria apply.”
The second most common purchase method was buying with a ‘traditional’ mortgage (44 per cent), according to Uswitch.
The survey found that 34 per cent of first-time buyers got help from their parents to get on the property ladder, with 24 per cent getting a loan from their parents for the deposit, and 10 per cent of buyers’ parents gifting them money towards their purchase.
Almost half (48 per cent) of first-time buyers are the sole property owners, while 33 per cent bought with a partner.
Top tips for first-time buyers
Uswitch mortgage expert, Kellie Steed, offers her three top tips on what to consider before becoming a first-time buyer:
Budgeting for additional costs
Ensure you account for all additional expenses associated with buying a property. There are several costs to consider on top of the mortgage payments. Mortgages themselves come with additional admin fees and costs like surveying and land registry fees are unavoidable. There are also outgoings to account for once you’ve moved into the property, such as insurance, utilities and council tax. Factoring these into your budget early on will ensure you’re prepared and can actually afford to buy.
The type of mortgage that’s best for you will depend on your financial situation/stability, preferences and long-term plans. Make sure you seek advice to help with the process – a mortgage broker can help you review all your options and decide which is best suited to your circumstances.
Be prepared for the property search
Firstly, you’ll need to decide on which non-negotiable features you want the property to have. You may have to be lenient on any additional features based on your budget, so it’s important to define your criteria. You should also make sure you have a checklist for attending viewings, including questions to ask the estate agent.