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Published: 14 November 2022

The Society has launched proposals aimed at making it easier for first-time buyers to get on the property ladder, as new research we’ve commissioned shows that recent economic uncertainty and interest rate rises have made it harder than ever to buy a home. 

What did the survey say?

Research we carried out in October 2022* revealed:

  1. 81% of first-time buyers agree that the cost-of-living crisis has made it harder to save for a deposit.
  2. 68% of first-time buyers are worried about affording higher mortgage repayments even if they can save a deposit.
  3. 60% of those planning to buy in the next 5 years are delaying their purchase, by an average of 18 months.
  4. 49% of aspiring first-time buyers now doubt if they will ever be able to buy a property.
  5. 35% of first-time buyers had never heard of shared ownership – even though it’s a way to get on the housing ladder sooner and with a smaller deposit.

A plan to help first-time buyers 

It’s a gloomy picture but we’re committed to helping first-time buyers into home ownership.

That’s why before the Autumn Statement last week we shared a detailed set of seven proposals, Tackling the UK’s Homeownership Crisis, suggesting a route to make the housing market work for everyone:

  1. Build more homes – Our country can only achieve its ambition of delivering over 300,000 homes a year through clear and consistent leadership from government – including overhauling planning legislation.

  2. Tackle the skills gap in construction – A shortage of skills at technical, supervisory and managerial levels is holding construction back. Investing for the long-term in education and skills training is key.

  3. Maximise the potential of existing properties – Fixing the homeownership crisis is not just about building more homes, it’s also about making sure existing properties are properly used.

  4. Build sustainability into the housing market – Building new sustainable homes and retrofitting existing houses is central to achieving net zero targets and making sure homes are fit for future generations to live in.

  5. Increase routes into homeownership – A healthy housing mix which include affordable options to buy, and rent is critical to supporting more people into homeownership – including schemes such as Shared Ownership.

  6. Help people save for a deposit – Repackage the Government’s Lifetime ISA scheme to provide an accessible and generous incentive for those who want to save but need support.

  7. Provide meaningful support for borrowers ­– To provide stability and security, give existing homeowners adequate protection in the face of rising interest rates and help tenants by supporting them to have first refusal on the purchase of the property they rent.

We can’t escape or ignore the fact that home ownership does seem an unlikely reality for many at the moment and we’ll continue to do what we can to support those who have ambitions of home ownership.


*The research was conducted by Censuswide, among a sample of 4,006 UK adults (2,006 nationally representative respondents and 2,454 Respondents looking to buy within the next 5 years). The data was collected between 24.10.2022 – 27.10.2022. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society and follows the MRS code of conduct which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

This guide is intended as a summary only and does not constitute financial advice given by Leeds Building Society. No reliance should be placed on this guide and you must make your own decisions. We recommend that you seek independent financial advice if you have any questions or queries.

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