THE percentage of first-time buyers renting before they take the property-purchase plunge is falling, according to new research.
Only 54 per cent of the UK’s first-timers now rent before buying, compared with 59 per cent last year, according to an annual survey by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks.
In contrast, 35 per cent now live in the family home while they save for a deposit, compared with just 23 per cent last year. A further six per cent rent but then move back to the family home – up from four per cent last year.
The survey also revealed that around two thirds of UK first-time buyers have had to wait longer than expected to make their first property purchase. Last year, the figure was 67 per cent, this year it’s 65 per cent. The figure for Yorkshire first-time buyers has come down from 60 to 58 per cent.
Half (50 per cent) say they have had to wait for up to three years longer than expected – down from 55 per cent last year. In Yorkshire the figure has come down from 49 to 38 per cent.
This may be due to the difficult housing market bringing expectations even lower now than they were 12 months ago.
Of those living in the family home, almost two fifths (39 per cent) say they live there rent-free.
Some 61 per cent pay rent every month and a further 21 per cent make a contribution through helping at home, paying bills or buying food for the household.
There are substantial regional variations: 80 per cent of Scots living at home pay rent, compared with just 46 per cent of those in London. The figure in Yorkshire and the Humber is just slightly above the national average, at 62 per cent.
Steve Fletcher, head of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks Retail Network, said: “Clearly there are lots of benefits to staying at home such as not having to pay out for household bills or rent while trying to save for the all-important deposit.”
Some 56 per cent of first-time buyers said they feel pressure to buy their own home.