Home statistics

First-time buyers, home ownership and mortgages.

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Buying and moving into a new home is a huge milestone, especially given that house prices are rising all over the UK. It’s no wonder that the average age of homeownership has risen by 8 years (from 26 to 34 years old) from 1997 to 2017.
Read on for more key information about house ownership, as well as stats about home insurance, mortgages and where you stand in comparison to other first-time buyers.

First-time buyers

Unsurprisingly, higher housing prices have caused the average age of homeownership to increase over the past two decades. Despite this, the number of first-time buyers has increased steadily over the past decade, having reached 370,000 in 2018 – 178,000 more than in 2008.

Quick facts

  • First-time buyer ownership was highest in the South East, with 72,100 first-time buyers in 2018.
  • This is 7 times higher than the number of first-time buyers in Northern Ireland (10,400).
  • Northern Ireland also experienced the greatest growth in the number of first-time buyers from 2008 to 2018, with a 260% increase.

The average age of first-time buyers

The average age of homeownership is determined when homeownership in a particular age group exceeds 50%. Therefore, the average age of first-time homeownership in 2017 was 34. This is 6 years older than it was in 2007 and 8 years older than it was in 1997.

Age 1997 2007 2017
16-20 13.8% 9.6% 7.7%
21 17% 12.1% 5%
22 28.8% 19.8% 10.9%
23 36.2% 27.8% 14.8%
24 40.4% 33.3% 18.6%
25 48.1% 40% 25.9%
26 53.8% 45.4% 30.6%
27 56.4% 49.1% 33.6%
28 61.3% 51.9% 36.1%
29 64.8% 56.5% 38.3%
30 65.6% 61.1% 44.5%
31 67.5% 63.2% 44.8%
32 72.2% 63.9% 47.8%
33 71.5% 66.3% 49.7%
34 73.4% 69.8% 53%
35 74% 70.9% 54.9%
36 75.8% 72.1% 56.2%
37 76.5% 74% 59.1%
38 76.5% 73.5% 62.7%
39 79.1% 74.8% 64.2%
40 77.7% 76.7% 64.4%

Buying a house in the UK as a first-time buyer

The factor holding most people back from owning their first home is cost. Therefore, homeownership varies greatly depending on where people want to live. The average house price for first-time buyers in 2018 was just over £212,000. The average deposit was £32,800 and the average mortgage was £180,000.
A house is most difficult to afford in Greater London, where the average house prices, mortgages and deposits are 2.4 times higher than the UK averages. Meanwhile, buying a house in Northern Ireland will cost you the least, being just 60% of the UK average.

Region Average house price (£) Average mortgage (£) Average deposit (£) Deposit as a percentage of purchase price
North £126,104 £108,991 £17,112 14%
Yorkshire and the Humber £142,638 £122,811 £19,827 14%
North West £149,089 £127,640 £21,449 14%
East Midlands £165,399 £140,608 £24,791 15%
West Midalnds £174,908 £148,395 £26,513 15%
East Anglia £210,874 £174,263 £36,611 17%
Wales £144,542 £128,094 £16,449 11%
South West £210,200 £173,071 £37,128 18%
South East £279,349 £227,213 £52,136 19%
Greater London £426,857 £316,202 £110,656 26%
Northern Ireland £129,615 £111,538 £18,077 14%
Scotland £141,671 £121,719 £19,952 14%
UK £212,473 £179,631 £32,841 15%

Following the same trend, mortgage prices are generally reflective of the house prices in different regions. Throughout most of the UK, a mortgage is typically around 15% of the house price, with the exception of London, where a mortgage is on average 26% of the house price or £316,202.

Remortgages

Remortgaging is a great way to release equity or secure a better rate for the future. The number of remortgages from July 2018 to July 2019 varied greatly from month to month. The highest number of remortgages was 50,330 in October 2018 – 18,220 more than in June 2019. Over this 12-month period, the number of remortgages was split exactly between simple refinancing remortgages and equity withdrawn remortgages.

Month Number of homeowner remortgages
July 2018 45,740
August 2018 37,730
September 2018 35,280
October 2018 50,330
November 2018 39,480
December 2018 33,050
January 2019 47,540
February 2019 36,640
March 2019 32,120
April 2019 38,400
May 2019 41,090
June 2019 32,110

Home insurance

Of the 22.6 million homes in the UK, 6 million homes don’t have any home insurance. This equates to 1 in every 4 homes not being covered. The homes that are uninsured are not equally distributed across the UK. Almost half (45%) of all homeowners in London do not have their homes covered, while over 80% of homeowners in Northern Ireland are insured.

Home insurance claims

Almost one third (31%) of home insurance payouts are to cover water damage. The next biggest claims are for fire and explosion (17%), theft (16%) and other domestic claims (13%).

Type of claim Percentage
Escape of water 31%
Fire & explosion 17%
Theft 16%
Other domestic claims 13%
Accidental damage 12%
Weather 7%
Domestic subsidence 4%

Contents insurance will cover damage to any belongings found inside your home. Before taking out a policy, you need to report how much you expect the value of your items to be. With the average amount spent on personal household possessions (£35,000) amounting to more than the average UK salary (£27,000), it’s surprising that over a quarter of households have no contents insurance.

How much are my household contents worth?

The following table can give you a rough idea of how much your contents are worth based on the size of your home.

Property type Average contents value
One bed flat £20,110
Two bed flat £26,966
Two bed house £28,506
Three bed house £38,160
Four bed house £49,316
Bungalow £42,084

Sources

Office for National Statistics
UK Finance
Halifax
Bank of England
ABI
Admiral
Nimblefins

Click here for more research. For all media enquiries, please contact:

Matt Mckenna
UK communications manager
T: +44 20 8191 8806
matt.mckenna@finder.com@MichHutchison/in/matthewmckenna2

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