Times are tough for first time buyers and more than half would buy just about anything – from a church to a school or ex-army barracks – to get on the property ladder, according to Your Move and Reeds Rains.
According to the estate agency’s latest first time-buyer barometer, 57 per cent claimed they were willing to live in a former school in order to put their first foot on the property ladder, while 53 per cent were prepared to purchase an ex-barracks and exactly half would accept a converted church.
However there were some properties that even eager first-time buyers would not go so far as to buy. Barely a quarter of such buyers (25 per cent) were willing to have an ex-hospital as their first home and only one-in-seven (14 per cent) would opt to purchase a renovated prison in order to set foot on the property ladder.
Demand from first-time buyers continued to surge in January a the number of completed transactions rose 38.8 per cent to 27,900 from 20,100 the same month last year.
Meanwhile, the average price of a first-time buyer home in January has risen by 12.9 per cent on an annual basis from £146,952 to £165,945 – an increase of £18,993, Your Move and Reeds Rains said.
“Whether it’s bedding down in a barracks or saying ‘home sweet home’ to a hospital, many first-time buyers are ready to get creative to snap up their first home," Adrian Gill, director of Your Move and Reeds Rains, said.
"That the government has decided to convert old public buildings to homes at all is a sign that conventional housebuilding is struggling to keep pace with enthusiastic home-buyers. It’s a sellers’ market – and supply of homes is the issue of our times."