The latest research from specialist bank Aldermore’s quarterly First Time Buyer Index explores the impact of the difficulties faced by first time buyers in the current housing market. The results show the process of buying a first property causes so much stress for some people it has made them ill (35 per cent) or caused issues in their relationship (34 per cent).

This stress is understandable. Aldermore’s figures show nearly one in five (17 per cent) recent first time buyers took three or more attempts to buy their home, while a quarter (27 per cent) had to delay by more than two years. The impact of the buying process even resulted in two fifths (40 per cent) of respondents feeling like they have had to rebuild their life due to the compromises they had to make to get on the housing ladder.

Hurdles and sacrifices

The Index also reveals the most common hurdles recent first time buyers had to overcome and the sacrifices they made in order to buy their first home. The main challenge for nearly a fifth (18 per cent) of respondents was raising a deposit - one in five (20 per cent) had to wait between six to 10 years to save enough money. In order to do so, over a third (37 per cent) cut back on taking holidays and eating out.

Nearly one in 10 (9 per cent) found the actual process of securing a mortgage the biggest difficulty, and the same number (10 per cent) cited the whole buying process as the biggest problem. For a further 8 per cent of first time buyers it was the length of the purchase process.

Getting on the housing ladder

When asked what could be done to improve the situation, almost a third (32 per cent) recent first time buyers requested the issue of rising house prices to be addressed. For over one in three (34 per cent) respondents, simplifying the whole buying process would help, while three in ten (30 per cent) believe the situation would improve if better mortgage products were available.

In control of life

In the end though, the positives outweigh the negatives. Nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of recent first time buyers felt like they had reached adulthood when they got the keys to their first home, and almost seven in ten (69 per cent) found that putting their own stamp on their new home to be an empowering experience.

Three quarters (75 per cent) of recent first time buyers feel they are no longer wasting money on rent, and 70 per cent believe owning their own home gives them financial control.

Charles McDowell says: “Our latest quarterly first time buyer index reveals the issues recent first time buyers have faced when getting on the property ladder and the impact this is having on their day-to-day lives. Buying a first home is an empowering experience and can provide financial control, but our research shows the sacrifices being made by first time buyers to reach that first rung of the property ladder are negatively impacting their health and personal relationships.

“Almost one in ten (9 per cent) found the process of securing a mortgage the biggest difficulty which is why at Aldermore we are committed to helping to those who are struggling to gather a deposit by offering a range of products, including the family guarantee mortgage and 95 per cent mortgages for customers who have a smaller deposit.”