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Fifth of aspiring first-time buyers ‘living with family or friends to save cash’

Vicky Shaw, PA Personal Finance Correspondent
·2-min read

More than a fifth of aspiring first-time buyers have temporarily moved in with family or friends since the coronavirus crisis started, according to research.

Some 22% of people hoping to buy their first home in the next two years have moved in with parents, in-laws or friends since March 2020, Halifax found.

On average, they plan to live with their family or friends for seven months.

With many people having had pay cuts, been furloughed or become unemployed during the pandemic, moving back into their childhood bedrooms is one way that people can significantly reduce their outgoings.

The findings were released in the same week that several major lenders, including Halifax, launched 5% deposit mortgages under a new Government scheme.

Halifax found 21% of those surveyed have a 5% deposit saved already and 61% said they will now be able to buy a home sooner than expected because of the scheme.

Six in 10 (60%) would-be home buyers said Covid-19 had changed their long-term plans for where to live, with value for money and living in a more rural area being among their top priorities.

Andrew Asaam, mortgages director at Halifax, said: “Moving in with friends and family is helping aspiring first-time buyers to boost their savings as raising a deposit is still the biggest barrier to the property ladder.

“The average first home deposit increased by £12,000 to £58,986 in the past year despite a market shutdown at the start of the pandemic, putting a further squeeze on those getting close enough to take that first step.

“The new mortgage guarantee scheme launched this week will be a gamechanger in making home ownership a reality for more people who have been back staying with mum and dad, the in-laws or with friends to save cash.

“We are offering 95% mortgages through the scheme to both first-time buyers and home movers and have committed to lending £10 billion in 2021 to help people buy their first home this year.”

More than 1,000 people planning to buy their first home in the next two years were surveyed for the research in March 2021.