Many youngsters are already foregoing their avocado on toast and expensive sandwiches to get onto the property ladder, and a new survey has revealed the further lengths many would go to in order to become homeowners.
Around one in seven prospective buyers under the age of 40 would purchase their first property with a stranger if it increased their chances compared to buying alone, according to a survey by HSBC looking at 2,000 Brits who are hoping to get onto the housing ladder. A shocking 4% would even share the deeds with someone they’d met in the pub, while 5% wouldn’t rule out buying a property with an ex.
A further 80% of respondents said they would buy their first home with someone who is not their partner, although a third would rather not buy with a friend or sibling, for fear of ruining relationships. Although only 14% said they would definitely buy a property with someone they’d never met, 59% said they would be open to the idea, provided their co-buyer met certain criteria.
What do co-buyers want?
The ideal candidate to buy a property with would be a clean and tidy person (70%) who earns more than £50,000 a year (18%), loves pets (37%) and is good at DIY (39%), according to the survey. They should also be open to compromise (48%) and calm under pressure (42%), and they get added brownie points if they go to bed before 11pm (17%) and love a good BBC drama (19%). Instant turn-offs included extreme messiness, body odour, annoying behaviour, bringing “undesireable” people back to the property, and not paying their fair share of the bills.
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So where can open-minded co-buyers meet like-minded young first-time buyer hopefuls? HSBC ran an event aimed at introducing such people to others who were open to the idea of buying together, which took place on 15 February – National Singles Awareness Day.
HSBC mortgage expert Chris Pearson said: “We understand the challenges that young buyers are facing today and that they are willing to think outside the box to get on the property ladder – even contemplating the idea of buying with a stranger.”
He added: “People who are considering this step need to not only find someone responsible and compatible – they also need to dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t’ to avoid a difficult situation in the future, especially when it comes to selling. It’s important to have a clear agreement in place from day one so you both know what’s expected of you.”
As the property ladder is pulled further out of reach for many youngsters, who have faced rising rents, a growing discrepancy between house prices and wages, as well as a shortage of affordable housing, co-buying with a stranger could soon be a viable answer for growing numbers of first-time buyers.