(My sons, they just don’t know it yet…)
My eldest son still lives at home. It’s not what I would have done at 30 years of age but I guess at his age, I would have been earning more than a living wage. Being at home is comfortable, close to work and everything he could possibly want is available. By 30, I’d already been married for seven years (no itch in sight) and bought my first flat (or should that be arranged my first mortgage) – but as they say, times have changed.
My other son is 3 years younger than his brother, and is a little more independent. He lives in a small rented Lodge House with his girlfriend (when does a girlfriend become a partner?), and has been living away from home since coming back from University. There are no plans of marriage, as far as I am aware, and not once has he mentioned the desire to buy a house – but if he was to, I reckon it would have to be brand new, with no need for any DIY, and come with superfast broadband because I am not sure what he would do without it. Ideally he would want a 100% mortgage as his personal savings are virtually nil.
All of this got me thinking; across the industry we spend a lot of time talking about first time buyers, home buyers and sellers, as well as downsizers; the people who keep the market moving with their aspirations, desires and hopes for the future. We spend our time discussing their needs in terms of housing stock, mortgage rates, deposits and Help-to-Buy. But, what we often fail to look at are the people behind the labels.
My sons are, as it turns out, aspiring first-time buyers – they just don’t know it yet. Our recent research has unearthed who the aspiring first-time buyer really is. I was pleased to see that my sons make the ideal candidates and haven’t yet ‘missed the boat’ – in truth the average age of an aspiring first-time buyer is 33, and by the time that aspiration is met, they’ll be 36. They’ll in all likelihood need a helping hand form the Bank of Mum and Dad, plus some savings of their own and they’ll prefer a new build to a property with character. Superfast broadband will be essential, as will a garden, but all-in-all they’ll be feeling ‘confident and hopeful’ about their chances of getting on the ladder.
So to all other parents of ‘boomerang’ children and dependent off-spring, don’t despair – it will only be a few more years until they fly the nest forever, so just hang-on in there! Housebuilders, this is your six year warning – please can you ensure you have two new homes, with in-built connective technology available to buy near Glastonbury, by 2023. Oh and they can’t cost more than £150,000 each. Now I better get saving for that deposit…