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First-time buyers ‘settle for second-best’

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Competition in the property market is forcing first-time buyers to lower their expectations dramatically, a new study has found.

Research conducted by estate agency chains Your Move and Reeds Rains found that first-time buyers are making sacrifices in order to get onto the property ladder.

A fifth of those surveyed said they would be willing to purchase a home without electricity while 19% said they would forgo plumbing and central heating.

The rising cost of home ownership means young buyers are having to cut expenditure significantly. One-in-six said they would sacrifice pension contributions in order to build their deposit while 70% would go without a new car or holiday.

Even with these savings and lower standards, an increasing number of people are resigned to remaining in the rental sector. Just 8% of tenants said they would be in a position to buy within the next year, 50% down on a year ago.

Dated decor and a low quality kitchen were acceptable for 77% and 76% of new buyers respectively, the report said.

Adrian Gill, director of estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains, said many first-time buyers were having to lower their expectations.

“As demand in the property market remains strong, first-time buyers are willing to accept a home in less-than-perfect condition.

“While the stats seem alarming at first glance, they’re a good sign for the housing market overall. The figures show that most would-be first-time buyers haven’t given up on the dream of property-ownership. Instead, they are sensibly adjusting their expectations and preparing themselves for some of the short-comings that may be present in a first home.

“Indeed, it may even be the case that some first-time buyers actively select properties with faded décor or faulty kitchens, judging that the reduction they can secure on the asking price is greater than the cost of any required renovation work.”

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