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What are buyers unwilling to sacrifice to get their first home?

Date online: 22/09/2014

A survey into savings habits by building society the West Brom showed that more than half of the 1,741 respondents would happily park their car buying plans (53%) or give their holiday spending a break (65%) if it helped them towards their first house.

Yet only one in four (26%) would give the chop to a decent hair-do or otherwise compromise on beauty and grooming products.

Top of the list for things would-be homeowners are prepared to compromise on is eating out (66%), with electronic gadgets (46%) and new clothes (43%) also featuring prominently.

Fewer people are prepared to reduce spending on food shopping (5%), delay starting a family (10%) or abandon their long term savings or pension plans (19%) in order to achieve home ownership. 

David Taylor, Head of Products at the West Brom, said: “Growth in house prices means there are no easy routes to owning your first home and many people are having to square up to the reality of making compromises. What is encouraging is that long term saving is among the things buyers are least likely to give way on.  They may be focusing on the near future in terms of wanting to buy a property, but can also see the sense in making plans for later in life.”

Most buyers accept they will have to wait before securing a suitable deposit for their first house purchase. The survey found 22% are prepared to give it one year, while 42% are willing to wait for three years or more to reach their goal.  

Some would even quit rented accommodation and move back in with their families if it made it easier to build up a decent deposit.  A quarter (26%) said they would do so ‘if necessary’ and six per cent were already trying it, although 38% valued their independence too much and refused to consider the idea.

The West Brom’s David Taylor added: “Buying a home is a huge financial and emotional step and people are called on to make choices and consider their priorities and spending patterns. We would advise first time buyers to save regularly, budget carefully and make a proper financial plan to help realise their dream. Those choices include seeking the best mortgage to suit their needs now and in the future.”

Things would-be home owners are most willing to compromise on in order to get on the property ladder:

-Eating out - 66%
-Going on holiday - 65%
-Buying a new car  - 53%
-Electronic gadget - 46%
-Buying new clothes - 43%
-Socialising with friends - 39%
-Beauty / grooming products - 26%
-Long term savings plans - 19%
-Starting a family  - 10%
-Food shopping (i.e. spending less)  - 5%

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