The Five Types of Homebuyer

By: Paul McIndoe

The Building Societies Association (BSA) believe that they have managed to categorise homebuyers into five distinct groups which are contained within their latest publication the 'House Price Expectations survey'. These groups have been colourfully named and identified as: Aspirant fledglings, Been around the block, Savvy long-haulers, Bandwagoneers and Wallflowers.

The first of these, the 'aspirant fledglings' are those that buy out of fear of being left behind if they don't immediately get a foot on the property ladder. They possess a strong desire to own their own home and in general are optimistic about the property market and their investment within it. However, they do consult with family and friends before making a purchase and do their research through the media before committing themselves to buying.

As you would expect from the name 'been around the block' buyers have bought and sold before and use their own past experiences to shape their purchases. Many of this group believe that prices could fall, but counter that threat by believing that owning their own piece of England is more important than making financial gains.

Next up are the 'savvy long-haulers' who are investing in property for long-term financial gain. This group is most likely to be looking at buying property for pension purposes i.e. taking the capital gain once they retire to fund their lifestyle. They will take their time deciding over purchases and are less likely to be swayed by media stories of boom or bust. 'Bandwagoneers' however, are most likely to believe media reports about the future of the market and will invest if they see others doing the same. They are trend followers as opposed to trend-setters, and are the least most abundant of the five groups.

Finally the 'wallflowers' are waiting on the sidelines. If they see prices fall they will make a move as they believe that the long-term trend is always upwards, but want to maximise their short-term gains at the same time.

The report compiled by the BSA looks at the main reasons why buyers decide on residential property purchases, but has stopped short of examining what motivates people to acquire additional properties such as or why they opt to enter the 'buy-to-let' market. Adrian Coles, director general of the BSA, said: 'This report solely examines how people consider residential property purchase and how they form their expectations of future house price movements. It suggests that those buying property give great consideration to a range of factors and enter the housing market with their eyes wide open.'

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