Really, it’s a ‘how long is a piece of string?’ scenario when it comes to the time length of buying your first home. But a brand new study by the Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank suggests that first-time buyers in the UK tend to underestimate the time it takes to enter the property market.

Results from the banks’ joint Annual First Time Buyers Survey show that 67% of house hunters don’t accurately estimate how long it’ll take to find their first home. In fact, the process often turns out to be up to three years longer than anticipated, according to 50% of survey respondents.

Things seem to have changed over the last 30 years; people aged 55 and over taking part in the poll were nearly three times more likely to have purchased their first property within the expected timescale than respondents in their late 20s and early 30s.

Asked to name the reasons that stalled their buying process, financial issues prevailed as the factor guiding buyers’ thinking and actions when looking for their first home. But finding the right property was also a problem, cited by around one in five respondents.

The most notable difference between buyer expectations and the actual time it takes to get onto the housing ladder was recorded in London, where 76% of house hunters said it actually took them longer. Potential house buyers in Scotland were found to be most likely to have bought their first home within the expected timeline.

Are you a home owner? If so, did the buying process take the amount of time you expected?

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