Young people ‘are giving up idea of owning a home’

High property prices and low incomes are putting many people off getting on the property ladder. Picture: Getty
High property prices and low incomes are putting many people off getting on the property ladder. Picture: Getty
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MORE young people are giving up the dream of owning their own home, with high house prices and low incomes seen as strong barriers to getting on the property ladder, a report has suggested.

The proportion of people aged between 20 and 45 who are saving for a deposit to buy their own home has fallen by six percentage points compared with a year ago, to 43 per cent, according to the Generation Rent report from Halifax.

Young people today are facing worse prospects than their parents

Roger Harding

The report said this fall “strengthens the view” that more people may be giving up on the idea of owning their own home and are instead accepting the idea of long-term renting.

Schemes such as Help to Buy have enabled people to get on or move up the property ladder with a low deposit, but while 53 per cent of people said they ­believe the scheme has had a positive impact, 8 per cent think it has had a negative impact, with 39 per cent saying they do not know or are undecided.

The three most common barriers to home ownership that people who do not own a property gave were the size of the deposit needed, high property prices and low incomes.

People who do not own their own home said they would be willing to save for about five years and four months to build up a deposit, while people who are already on the property ladder would be prepared to save for around three years and seven months for their next move.

Some 79 per cent of 20- to 45-year-olds surveyed thought banks do not want to lend to first-time buyers. Figures recently released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders showed the number of first-time buyers getting on the property ladder last year reached its highest levels since 2007. More than 300,000 people took their first step on the property ladder in 2014.

But Craig McKinlay, mortgages director at Halifax, said: “While there has been an increase in first-time buyers in the last 12 months, at the same time there is also a growing group of young people who believe they won’t be able to get a mortgage.

“The difference between the reality and their perception needs to be addressed urgently if we are to prevent people from giving up on getting on the housing ladder.”

The report gathered information from more than 40,000 20- to 45-year-olds and 4,000 parents with children aged ­between 20 and 45.

Commenting on the report, Roger Harding, director of communications, policy and campaigns for housing and homelessness charity Shelter, said politicians needed to act to ­address the crisis.

He said: “Young people today are facing worse prospects than their parents because successive governments have ducked the question of how to fix the housing shortage.

“House prices have now shot up to ten times the average wage, leaving ‘Generation Rent’ with two alternatives – either carry on living with mum and dad, or pay out dead money to landlords.

“And with prices still on the rise, it’s no surprise so many young people feel their dreams of owning a home are slipping out of reach.

“The only way to give Generation Rent any real hope of a home of their own is for politicians to deliver a big and bold plan that will finally deliver the affordable homes we desperately need.”

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