FTBs shun flats and choose houses for initial purchase

The traditional route into home ownership for many first-time buyers has generally been to buy a flat.

However, new data from the Land Registry suggests FTBs are now targeting a house as their initial purchase.

And the knock-on effect of that has been to see the price of flats or maisonette apartments fall by 2.1 percent in the last year.

However, the increased interest in buying a house means the price of detached and semi-detached properties are rising fastest of all properties in England and Wales, according to the analysis of the Land Registry’s UK House Price Index for April.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Richard Donnell, insight director at online listings site Zoopla, said FTBs were willing to rent a flat while saving for their first home. But their intention was to live much longer in a house they had bought, making them willing to wait for the right property.

He said: “First-time buyers don’t need to buy a flat in the regional areas in the current housing market.

“If you are going to make a commitment to buy, people want to stay there for a while. The data suggests that people have a longer-term view.

“People are looking to buy their homes to live in for eight to 10 years, whereas 20 years ago, people thought they were buying for just three or four years.”