The housing market in London has been under sharp scrutiny in recent years and has been the focus of much negative media attention.
Various reports have said that due to the constant ascension of the property market, millennials are struggling to get onto the property market, indeed some fear that they may never be able to buy their own home if they want to live in the centre of London.
However, a study of 1,500 people aged between 22 and 30 years old by NatWest has shown that when asked, millennials feel optimistic about being able to buy their own home. The report showed that 69 per cent of those surveyed saying that they believe they will have saved enough money for a deposit in five years.
A further 22 per cent of those asked felt that they would be able to save the necessary deposit needed for a house in less than two years, which seems in stark contrast to the state of the property industry in London.
However when they were asked, 41 per cent of millennials weren’t aware of how much money they would need for a deposit on a house or flat. The average of those that felt they did know how much it was, believed around 20 per cent of the value of the house was adequate for a deposit.
But what is it that millennials desire in a property?
Flats over houses
When asked what their ideal first home would be, the report showed that as much as 34 per cent of millennials living in London would prefer to buy a flat or apartment to get onto the property ladder.
This isn’t surprising, as most people in London tend to live in apartments and flats in general, rather than in houses. This is much higher than in the UK in general, as only 19 per cent of millennials would buy a first-time flat over a house.
Interestingly, the survey by NatWest found that Londoners are more likely to live at their parents’ or guardians’ house rent-free, rather than rent an apartment or flat with their partner.
It seems that men are more likely to be living with their parents, but were simultaneously more likely to be actively looking for their own property to buy. Men in general reported to have been more optimistic and enthusiastic about finding and buying a property, leaving women represented as less active about getting onto the property ladder.
Londoners can be more likely to compromise on the location of where they buy a house than other first-time buyers in the UK. As location seems to be of less importance to millennials when they’re buying a house, it suggests that this age groups of first-time buyers seems to be more interested in simply joining the property ladder, if they are able to do so.
According to the survey, 23 per cent of those London-based millennials felt that they are currently living in ‘generation rent’, which is in contrast to most of the rest of the UK.
Superficial things that millennials look for
Millennials tend to be interested in gadgets and appearances, as such when these first-time buyers are looking for a property they are keen to look for somewhere that has updated fixtures and fittings.
In general most buyers are looking for a fitted kitchen at least, but millennials will be looking for a property that has updated kitchens and bathrooms and potentially doesn’t need much extra work.
The reasons for this are that younger buyers are more keen to sink their money into the initial deposit to buy a flat or a house and are then keen to fit it out with trendy furniture. In truth, kitchens and bathrooms are the most expensive parts of a house to alter and remodelling costs are unlikely to be within a young buyer’s budget.
Kitchens are particularly important to millennials according to Bankrate, specifically kitchens that run seamlessly into living spaces. There seems to be a demand among younger buyers to enhance the social aspect of their living and blending the kitchen with the living room is one of the easiest ways to do that.
Home office appeal
The increase of technology in the home means that millennials will be likely to have laptops and tablets that may well necessitate a decent office space. As lots of people now work from home, either freelance or as part of their job, which further stresses the importance of having a decent space to do work in a potential home.
Depending on the nature of the work, it may be particularly important for a first-time buyer to buy a house with several different rooms for work, if for example the buyer is a flourishing freelance photographer.
Skype calls, Google Hangouts and other similar functions are becoming commonplace in the modern office and a space in the home to hold these remote work meetings could again be a consideration for a young and modern millennial first-time buyer.