FTBs more reliant on friends and family than property professionals

Growing numbers of younger first-time buyers are relying on friends and family for advice on the homebuying process, according to new research.

Related topics:  Finance,  FTB,  Family
Property | Reporter
20th November 2023
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"Our research shows there is an advice gap between younger first-time buyers who need extra support and guidance on the fundamentals of buying and who they are relying on to provide this level of support"
- Jonathan Stinton - Coventry for intermediaries

First-time buyers, aged 18 to 34, are primarily relying on advice from family and friends (39%) rather than a broker for support on the homebuying process, according to the latest research from Coventry for intermediaries.

This year’s research, which was conducted in partnership with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), showed that while 90% of the youngest demographic of FTBs, aged 18 to 24, used a broker during the home buying process, only 33% of FTBs from the same age bracket said they relied on them specifically for guidance and information when buying their first home.

The first-time buyer research also highlights an opportunity for brokers to step in and support these younger clients earlier in the process, with 40% of all first-time buyers surveyed saying they needed more help and information on applying for a mortgage.

A further 36% also want more guidance on the exchange of contracts and the costs of buying a home. To plug this information gap, FTBs should engage with brokers at the earliest opportunity to ensure they’re fully aware of the mortgage process and all the key costs involved.

FTBs have also been subject to cost of living pressures and high inflation, with a third (33%) of those aged 18 to 34 saying they found it difficult to secure a mortgage. Brokers could play a critical role in helping these individuals navigate what is a challenging market and find the best possible mortgage deals.

Coventry for intermediaries’ research does show that FTBs who used a broker during their homebuying journey benefitted from the guidance they provided – 96% said brokers played an important role in their experience as first-time buyers.

By acting as a helpful source of guidance in the home buying process, there is an opportunity for brokers to demonstrate their value to new buyers and increase their chance of securing repeat business.

Jonathan Stinton, Head of Intermediary Relationships at Coventry for intermediaries said: “Buying a home is an exciting milestone for first-time buyers, and it’s only natural that they would lean on friends and family for advice, as in many cases they would have already been through the home buying process themselves.

"However, our research shows there is an advice gap between younger first-time buyers who need extra support and guidance on the fundamentals of buying and who they are relying on to provide this level of support.

“Brokers should be the go-to source of advice in the mortgage industry and can guide new buyers through the current market and the different stages of buying a home. For younger people who are finding it more challenging in this economic climate, brokers are in the perfect position to help these borrowers find a mortgage deal that could enable them to take their first step onto the ladder.

“For brokers, these buyers also represent an excellent opportunity to build up a new base of future clients by providing them with tailored advice. By positioning themselves as market experts, brokers could turn today’s first-time buyers into repeat business for the years to come.”

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