With record numbers of young professionals unable to get on the property ladder, it's no surprise that graduates are opting to move back home for longer periods post-university in order to save for a new home. Rather than flying the nest, young people are willing to make sacrifices in order to fulfil their home-owning aspirations, even if it means living with their parents and being away from partners or friends.
One such couple, Matthew Conner, 26, a Cyber Security manager from Hungerford, Berkshire, and girlfriend Alice Mills, 26, a primary school teacher of Manston, Dorset, have been saving hard to finally put down roots of their own. Since meeting at university and graduating three years ago, the couple have been living apart at their parents' homes to build up a deposit needed to purchase a two bedroom apartment at Kennet Island, a Berkeley Homes development close to the future Crossrail line in Reading. Prices in the area have seen as much as a 22% increase in the past year thanks to the improved transport links.
Matt explains, "We wanted to live together in our first property bought as partners and were willing to live apart short term so we could save up the money needed for our deposit. We chose Reading as it seemed to fit our needs perfectly. It was really well-placed for work with lots of employment opportunities for both of us, plus it offers a quick commute into central London. Reading town centre is perfect for young professionals like us, offering a great social life and plenty to do.
"The homes at Kennet Island are set around a lovely central courtyard with its café and fountains which gives the whole area a community feel. We have both been making use of the on-site gym since we moved into our apartment in the autumn. It's also in close proximity to the surrounding countryside which is important for us, making it easy to explore local country pubs, walking the family dogs and pursuing our cycling hobbies.
Alice goes on to say, "When we first visited the development we were immediately impressed by the properties, which were of a far superior quality to others we saw. The homes are finished to a high specification with Bosch appliances included in the price and definitely have a luxurious feel. The development provides a high standard of living and excellent value for money, plus with the impending Crossrail line proposed for 2019, we consider our apartment to be a solid financial investment."
The couple purchased their property off plan in 2014, having saved for two years to secure a 10% deposit with a little top up from their families.
The couple concluded, "we strongly advise other people in a similar situation to us to make the sacrifice and savings required to purchase their first home, it's a great feeling being able to say you own your own place and we love our new apartment. We would recommend Berkeley Homes who were really helpful from the point of sale right through to completion. As first time buyers and a young couple they gave us lots of support and flexibility which made the process less stressful."