How hard is it to buy a house? First-time buyers are facing the hardest conditions in 70 years

A recent report says right now is the 'most expensive'

Front of the cottage with paved path, flower beds and blue front door
(Image credit: Future PLC)

According to recent research from the Building Societies Association (BSA), first-time buyers are facing the most difficult conditions in 70 years to get on the property ladder – leaving the future for those looking to buy a house bleak.

There's been a bit of back and forth on whether or not now is a good time to buy a house, given a recent increase in mortgage rates and affordability issues. All these factors considered, it currently makes for a pretty tumultuous housing market that BSA have even gone onto dub as 'broken.'

The report found that first-time buyers who were actually successful in getting a mortgage had to rely on receiving parental support or having two incomes higher than average. Therefore, those without help or single are being priced out of the housing market, with no choice but to stick to renting.

Front of the cottage with paved path, flower beds and blue front door

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

How hard is it to buy a house right now?

Further findings from the report found that in March 2024, 32% of people claimed that they aspire to buy their own home but don't think they'll be able to. To add, housing expert Neal Hudson, who wrote the BSA report, says that home ownership among younger people has declined over the last 20 years, and should no changes be made, will only continue to decline.

Currently, the biggest challenge first-time buyers are facing is affordability. This includes building up a deposit to buy a home and the cost of owning a home, which encompasses both paying a mortgage and all the maintenance that comes with it.

Front door with porch and fanlight, white painted exterior

(Image credit: Future PLC)

That said, significant changes must be made to help prospective first-time buyers get on the property ladder and fix the 'broken housing market' – including highlighting first-time buyer schemes and calling attention to some of the current best first-time buyer mortgages.

Commenting on these findings, Paul Broadhead, head of mortgage and housing policy at the BSA says, 'Becoming a first-time buyer is possibly the most expensive it has been over the last 70 years, but a properly functioning housing market is dependent on first-time buyers being able to afford their first home.'

'New thinking and radical changes are needed.'

The front of the Regency Villa and garden with path lined by lavender plants

(Image credit: Future PLC)

As mentioned above, the report found that successfully buying a home relied on two above-average incomes or parental support.

However, the BSA is calling on the government to work with lenders, the wider housing market industry, and the public to make homes more affordable and readily available to first-time buyers seeking a mortgage.

By combining many efforts, we want to believe there is hope to fix the 'broken housing market' and encourage first-time buyers not to give up on the fight.

Jullia Joson
Junior Writer

Jullia Joson is a Junior Writer at Ideal Home. She's always loved all things homes and interiors, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Nottingham where her love for journalism blossomed following her internship at ArchDaily. Now focused on home tech, Jullia works on writing features and explainers to help people make the most of their home appliance investments. When she isn't writing, she loves exploring the city, coffee shop hopping, and losing hours to a cosy game.