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Home-owning aspirations at 30-year high

The equivalent figure for those buying in the 1970s is 39%, falling to 33% for first time buyers in the 80s, and 32% for those entering the housing market in the 1990s.

Aspirations for the size of home have increased – while the percentage expecting to progress to a detached home with two to three bedrooms fell slightly from 13% in the 1980s to 12% for those buying since 2008, the proportion of first-time buyers with expectations of a four or five bedroom house have risen from 19% to 22% over the same period. 

The political debate about mansion taxes has not dissuaded people from thinking ownership of a very large home will be feasible for them – 3% of those buying their first home since 2008 expect to eventually own a home with six or more bedrooms, three times the proportion of those getting their first mortgage in the 1980s.

Both men and women are equally bullish in their belief that a detached home will be within their reach, but it’s the younger generation who are most likely to feel this will be at the larger end of the market.

Some 7% of 18-24 year olds believe they will end up owning a detached home with six or more bedrooms.

The 1980s is remembered as the decade in which Margaret Thatcher’s Government heavily promoted the benefits of home ownership. However, for a quarter (24%) of those buying in that decade, a terraced home was the limit of their home owning ambitions. Only 15% of those buying for the first time since 2008 believe their ultimate home will be a terraced one.

While people’s aspirations have stretched beyond the terraces, over the same period the expectations for apartment living have almost doubled.

In the 1980s 6% of first-time buyers believed that a flat would be the pinnacle of their home ownership, a figure which has risen to 11% for those buying in the post 2008 housing market slump.

Although 37% of first-time buyers may feel they will achieve ownership of a detached home, detached properties only make up 17% of the housing stock.

Tom Stringer, Head of AA Home Emergency Response, said: "On the motoring side we are aware that new drivers love their first car but often aspire to drive a bigger, better, more expensive model. The same appears to be the case in the housing market.

"This research has revealed that the troubles in the housing market over the last three years have not dented the aspirations of recent first-time buyers.

"In fact, new entrants to the market are more positive about their long-term prospects than those entering in the last 30 years – something which could bode well for recovery in the market."

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