New research reveals the anxiety suffered by first time buyers

First-time buyers are sacrificing health, relationships and careers with increased anxiety to reach the first rung of the housing ladder in the UK, new research suggests.

Some 47% of recent first time buyers have had to rebuild their lives due to the compromises made to buy a home but the majority, 72%, believed the stress had been worth it and 84% found the experience empowering.

But that does not prevent first times buyers being stressed, according to the latest study from specialist bank, Aldermore, which also found that due to the complexity of house buying some 52% were made ill, a significant increase from 2017 when it was 35%.

The research says that 48% of first time buyers having a property fall through, it is understandable that the stress of buying a first home is also impacting relationships. In 2017, some 34% of recent first time buyers cited that the buying process caused issues in their relationships, and this increased to 46% in 2018.

The lengths recent first time buyers go to own a home does not stop there. Some 43% of recent first time buyers gave up being self-employed due to the difficulties of securing a mortgage. This compares to 32% in 2017.

Damian Thompson, director of mortgages at Aldermore said:

‘With the average first time homeowner taking almost six years to get on the property ladder, it is understandable that they will face challenges and hurdles along the way. However, it is concerning how negatively the house buying process is impacting health, personal relationships and careers.

‘First time buyers experience huge amounts of pressure when looking for their first home, and our latest research shows that this has significantly increased over the past 12 months; this can be assigned to the fact that buying a first home feels more out of reach than ever before.’

According to Nicky Lidbetter, chief executive officer of charity Anxiety UK, moving house can be a stressful event for anyone and frequently represents a time of transition and change.

Nicky Lidbetter said:

‘For first time buyers, typically young people, this big life event can come at a time when people are already coping with other life stressors including maintaining employment, building relationships and starting a family.

‘As such, I am not at all surprised to hear that their wellbeing has been found to be adversely affected through the buying process, particularly with the rise in house prices. This has been somewhat reflective of the increased rates of anxiety, stress and anxiety-based depression that we are seeing in all areas of society, and indeed here at Anxiety UK.’

Despite the sacrifices first time buyers have to make, 72% believe the stress was worth it in the end, compared to 53% in 2017. In addition, 84% found the experience empowering compared to 69% in 2017.

Although concerns were raised about the impact the house buying process was having on personal relationships, 72% believe buying a home with their partner has actually brought them closer together. This is a significant increase from 55% in 2017.

Thompson explained:

‘Becoming a home owner can be a very satisfying and rewarding experience. It is reassuring to see so many first time buyers express a sense of empowerment that has made navigating the pitfalls of the house buying process worth it.’

Lidbetter added that buying a first house is part of life:

‘It is something we all have to learn to cope with. Getting through successfully and with relatively little stress is much more likely if you take care of your mental wellbeing and the good news is that this doesn’t necessarily mean spending more money.

‘For those with higher levels of stress and who may be at the point of developing an anxiety disorder, we recommend seeking help. Your GP is well placed to provide advice and information. Anxiety UK too offers a range of accessible support services, including a national network of trained anxiety experts, developed to fit around people’s modern, busy schedules.’


Kindly shared by Property Wire