80% of Brits not confident in the Government’s ability to support home ownership

80% of UK adults have no faith in the Government’s ability to improve home ownership

With 11 house-hunters for every home on the market, new homebuyer poll reveals keys to success in UK property market

Sticking to a strict budget and immediate access to funds take top spots

New research among more than 2,000 UK adults commissioned by bridging lender MFS has unveiled what homebuyers believe are the most important factors when trying to get ahead in the country’s competitive property market.

With figures showing that there are now 11 house-hunters for every residential property up for sale in the UK, today’s independent, nationally-representative poll shows what people who have successfully bought a house in the last ten years think are the keys to success. What’s more, the research reveals that 80% of UK adults are not confident in the Government’s ability to make it easy and more accessible for people to purchase a property over the next two years – equivalent to over 41 million Brits.

Each respondent – all homebuyers since 2007 – was asked to score every factor from one to ten in terms of its importance in determining whether a house-hunter would be successful in the property market. With ten being extremely important and one meaning it was not important at all, MFS can exclusively reveal that this is how the key tactics rank:

 Rank  Factor  Mean score out of ten
   1   Having a very clear idea of budget and desired property from the outset  7.86
   2   Having immediate access to the required funds  7.78
   3   Being chain free  7.18
   4   Acting fast – when seeing the right property, bid as soon as possible and then begin the formal conveyancing process  7.15
   5   Flexibility in the location of the property being bought – not limiting the search to one particular area  6.87
   6   Being able to offer on or above the asking price  6.81
   7   Not putting in an excessively low first offer and insulting the seller  5.88
   8   Bidding on properties that are run down and require renovation  5.87
   9   Having preferred relationships with the seller or estate agent  5.48
  10   Being willing to gazump other buyers  5.07

Topping the list of the most important factors for house-hunters is having a very clear idea of their budget and desired property from the outset – this scored an average of 7.86 out of ten among previous UK homebuyers. The top three was completed by having immediate access to the property-buying funds and being chain free, which scored 7.78 and 7.18 respectively.

Speed was identified as another key factor; the vast majority of recent homebuyers said it was very important to act quickly upon seeing the right property, with this scoring 7.15. Being flexible in the location of the property (6.87) and having the budget to actually offer over the asking price (6.81) also scored highly in MFS’s homebuyer survey.

Coming in at the bottom of the list was gazumping. The practice of making last minute bids to steal a property away from a rival buyer has been cited as a common issue in England and Wales, but the poll shows that homebuyers do not deem it to be as important for people hoping to be successful in the UK property market.

Paresh Raja, CEO of MFS, commented on the findings: “With 11 house-hunters for every home up for sale, the UK’s property market is hugely competitive. But today’s research provides valuable insight for those looking to get ahead in this marketplace – as well as having a very clear idea of your budget and desired property, it is also vital that people seeking to get onto or move up the property ladder have immediate access to the funds they need to complete the purchase if they are to secure their ideal home. People are clearly not confident in the Government’s current approach to home ownership, and this year’s Autumn budget provides an ample opportunity to address some of the market’s key concerns. Central to this is the ability for investors to quickly access finance and reduce the risk of being stuck in prolonged housing chains – whether it’s through traditional mortgages or alternative options such as short-term bridging loans, house-hunters must ensure they have the required finance to act, and act quickly.”