UK first time buyers move into new house without bed or sofa so pals visit ASAP

First time buyers in Britain are so keen to get visitors round, 55 per cent will move into a house without a bed or sofa, as long as there is room to entertain.

Six in 10 also say when buying things for a new property, their initial purchasing decisions will be led by how many guests they want round.

And the study of 1,000 adults who bought their first home in the last 18 months – or are looking to buy in the next 18 months – found 47 per cent admit the guest room is likely to be finished before their own bedroom.

When restrictions are lifted, new homeowners hope to host seven people per month on average, once they’ve got their living spaces sorted.

For 16 per cent however, they’re expecting as many as 15 different guests through their doors in a four week period.

And 60 per cent are prioritising filling their homes with products to impress – even if they’re only hosting one or two guests a month.

A spokesperson for John Lewis, which carried out the study in conjunction with the launch of the new ANYDAY range, said: "It is really difficult to get on the housing ladder, so when you do, you want to enjoy it with others and celebrate.

“Having people round has been very difficult for obvious reasons over the last year and a bit, so as we tentatively emerge from the pandemic, there’s a huge appetite to make up for lost time.

“Our sales data across all customers from recent weeks has shown a staggering increase in items that make hosting easier and suggests the joy of hosting has returned – including sofa beds and dining tables.”

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Internal figures revealed by John Lewis show a 154 per cent increase in sofa sales in 2021, with sofa beds the second-most-popular purchase, showing a 106 per cent uptick.

Dining tables have also sold 57 per cent more this year than at the same point in 2020, while even door mats are up 33 per cent – to allow guests to wipe their feet before coming in.

According to the OnePoll research carried out by John Lewis, more than one in five (21 per cent) first time buyers plan to host a lavish housewarming party before they’ve decorated their new home.

And setting up the Wi-Fi is deemed more important than ordering a bed, having the TV installed and arranging home insurance.

One in five said they would take nine days or longer to sort out home insurance.

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First time buyers expect to part with precisely £999 on average for each room they want to newly furnish.

But more than a third (36 per cent) are put off from buying big-ticket homewares like beds, sofas and wardrobes because they worry about affording them straight away.

Over two-thirds of those surveyed (68 per cent) said they would seek interiors advice for designing their home.

Over the past 12 months home design stylists at John Lewis have taken 10,000 virtual appointments, with the living room coming out on top as the most popular room in the home that customers needed help with.

The first week the shops reopened there was a 49 per cent increase in bookings compared to the week before; with appointments specifically designed for first time buyers needing a little inspiration.

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John Lewis’ spokesperson added: “We’ve introduced the ANYDAY range to bring together affordability, quality and style, which means new homeowners don’t need to compromise on what they are buying – and can still sit on a sofa, with guests, when allowed.”

John Lewis sales data – from 1st February 2021

Sofa +154 per cent

Sofa Beds +106 per cent

Storage Beds +70 per cent

Floor Lamps +63 per cent

Dining Tables: +57 per cent

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Beds +54 per cent

Table lamps +49 per cent

Rugs +42 per cent

Dining Chairs: +41 per cent

Door mats +33 per cent

Pillows +32 per cent

Door mats +33 per cent

Towels +28 per cent

Bedding +28 per cent

Cookware +28 per cent

Coffee Tables: +20 per cent


  1. Bed

  2. Sofa

  3. Bedding (bedroom)

  4. Bedding (guests/entertaining)

  5. Wardrobe

  6. TV

  7. Guest bed

  8. Kettle

  9. Curtains

  10. Kitchen table

  11. Bedside table

  12. Cutlery set

  13. Chest of drawers

  14. Towels

  15. Sofa Bed

  16. Coffee Mugs

  17. Kitchen seating

  18. Curtains

  19. Table lamp

  20. TV Unit

  21. Matching dinnerware

  22. Coffee table

  23. Storage (kitchen / dining room)

  24. Throw

  25. Matching glassware

  26. Candles

  27. Vases for flowers

  28. Cushions

  29. Coffee machine

  30. Rug

  31. Lamp

  32. Slow cooker

  33. Throws and blankets

  34. Storage (living room)

  35. Good sound system

  36. Candles

  37. Bookcase

  38. Bar stools

  39. Frames for the gallery wall

  40. Vases

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