According to recent research, 70% of young people between 18 and 30 aspire to own their own home, but affordability is cited as the biggest barrier to homeownership – unsurprising amidst the cost-of-living crisis.
For Izzy Fitz (25), finding a property within her budget meant a wide search across her home county of West Sussex where she found a two-bedroom property for located on the outskirts of the popular village of Angmering.
Sitting just south of the South Downs, the village saw an increase of 223% in buyer searches between 2020 and 2021 on Rightmove, driven by its rural appeal and ideal proximity to urban hubs. Izzy had only been seriously considering moving for six months before discovering Ecclesden Park, looking to move out from living with her partner’s parents, whom she had been staying with since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.
Izzy comments, “I really did not expect to move so quickly and find somewhere that felt like a home from home. The property market in this area is incredibly fast-paced and I believed that homeownership here was out of reach within the foreseeable future. However, that was not the case at Ecclesden Park and by using Help to Buy I was able to put down just a 5% deposit of £16,000.”
Izzy had been looking at both older properties and new builds but was worried that she was not in a position to buy at all with the savings she had put aside whilst living at home during the pandemic.
Izzy adds, “I also looked at older properties, but everything within budget needed serious work, and I realised that it was important at this stage to move in somewhere that was hassle-free and new. Moving back in with my partner’s parents for the past two years was crucial in helping to save as much of my income as possible to put towards this move.”
An added benefit of purchasing a new build home at Ecclesden Park is also the energy efficiency measures included, with all homes having been built with sustainability in mind, meaning that Izzy could save up to £1,410 on her energy bills each year, compared to an updated Victorian equivalent.
Location was also a deciding factor, with Ecclesden Park situated just over a mile away from Angmering Station, which offers services to Brighton (48 minutes), Southampton (65 minutes) and London Victoria (95 minutes). However, the village maintains its rural identity, with the South Downs National Park right around the corner and the nearest beach is just over two miles away.
Izzy adds: “A village environment was really important as I have always lived amongst a small close-knit community, so I feel more comfortable with the location. The area also works really well with current hybrid work schedules and, as I work in communications, I often travel for filming so having that option to easily commute to larger towns and East Sussex was crucial as a deciding factor.”