Around 27 per cent of those planning to buy in the next year will be doing so for the first time, up from 23 per cent a year ago, suggests a new report.
Moreover, the research from Rightmove indicates that a university education is a vital element in getting onto the housing ladder.
"First-time buyers continue to be something of a rare breed in today’s market," said Miles Shipside, director and housing market analyst at Rightmove, "but our analysis reveals that higher education is currently the statistically most likely route to satisfying the home-ownership dream. Those school-leavers who are set to embark on a university education this autumn will be encouraged by the fact that further qualifications seem to be an important qualifying factor in getting onto the housing ladder."
Nearly seven out of ten of those who expect to buy in the next 12 months are graduates educated to either graduate degree (39%) or post-graduate degree (30%) level, or equivalent. The average age of a graduate prospective first-time buyer is 30, compared with an average age of 32 for a school-leaver.
Of all prospective first-time buyers who are currently living with parents, 62% are ‘grads’ compared to only 38% of other intending first-timers.
"Some grads get ahead in the first home-ownership stakes by returning to the family home after their university gap, or perhaps, in these difficult times, some never flew the nest at all," added Shipside. "The burden of student debt or the desire to buy perhaps means that there are fewer options to rent in the private sector, and the most practical outcome is to return from their recent student digs to their former school-time bed."
The average deposit for a graduate or post-graduate first-time buyer is around £35,000, compared to £25,000 for ‘non-grads’.
‘Grad first-time buyers’ also benefit from greater financial assistance from family members with their future house purchase. 30 per cent of them state they will receive some form of family financial assistance in building their deposit, whereas only 24 per cent of ‘non-grads’ are expecting a contribution.