Gardens at the heart of the home for first time buyers

However, the findings reveal that the importance of some other features lessens once people settle in, suggesting compromise could pay off in the long-term for potential first time buyers.

For example, while 36% of potential first time buyers see living near good public transport as key, it is far less of a factor for those who recently bought their first home (26%) which suggests this is a compromise they made and didn’t regret.

While 23% of potential first time buyers say they would be happy to buy a smaller house in a more desirable area, just 9% of those who bought in the last year agree. The feeling that experience provides a different outlook is backed up by the numbers who want a property to be low maintenance. The appeal of that attribute increases by 8% to 36% among recent first-time buyers who know what looking after your own home really involves.

In addition, recent first time buyers are far more likely than potential first-time buyers to want a home that is near their family (36% compared to 26%).

Regional differences also apply and potential first-time buyers in London (63%) are far more likely to value access to good public transport than those in the East Midlands (19%).In addition, as many people move to the capital for work, they are also the least likely to value living near their families (17% compared to the UK average of 28%).

First time buyers in the North East are most likely to value a low maintenance property (38%) while those in the South East (37%), Yorkshire (35%) and the East of England (35%) are most committed to living near their families. Londoners (29%) and those in the North West (28%) are most likely to want to buy a smaller house in a more desirable area compared to those in the North East (15%).

Chris Smith, Group Direct Mortgage Manager at Yorkshire Building Society, said: “Many potential first time buyers have a very clear picture of what they want from a first home and may be holding back until the perfect property comes on the market."

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