Growing disconnect between perception and reality for UK first time buyers, report suggests

Taylor Scott International News

The number of people buying their own home in the UK for the first time increased in 2014 but there is a growing disconnect between reality and perception of the market, new research suggests. According to the latest generation report from the Halifax improving economic conditions together with high profile government schemes such as Help to Buy, saw the highest amount of first time buyers purchase their first home for seven years. From a peak in 2006 of 402,800 first time buyers, numbers fell as low as 192,300 in 2008 before climbing back to 311,500 in 2014. Despite this the annual generation report found relatively little improvement in how potential first time buyers view their chances of getting on the housing ladder. The research also shows that 79% of 20 to 45 year olds believe banks don't want to lend to first time buyers, and 21% believe it is virtually impossible for first time buyers to obtain a mortgage. The Halifax says that there is clearly some work to do to dispel the myth that banks are averse to lending to first time buyers. And the proportion of people saving for a deposit has dropped 6% with some 43% currently saving to buy a property compared to 57% who are not. The lender says that this strengthens the view that more people may be giving up on owning their own home and are instead accepting renting as a viable way of living in a nice home, in an area they want to live in and in the right size of property. The Halifax also highlights the emergence of a new demographic split between those who want to get on the housing ladder and those who say they don’t at 13% in 2011 compared to 16% in 2015. The presumption that the UK is obsessed with home ownership may need revaluating and a lower level of home ownership may become the new normal, it adds. The research also shows that 53% think the Help to Buy scheme has had a positive impact, but 39% don’t know or are undecided and the three most cited barriers to home ownership among those who do not own a property are the size of the deposit for 57%, high property prices for 56% and low income for 53%. London has the lowest proportion of home owners aged 20 to 45 or 39% and the highest number of people in this age range who worry they will never own a home at 82% while non home owners are currently prepared to save for average of 5.35 years in order to save for a deposit whereas homeowners saved for an average of 3.6 years. The average amount that non home owners can afford to save each week is now £33.35 and 39% of 20 of 45 year olds are saving to buy two bed properties, split between flats and houses at 18% and 22% respectively. ‘This year’s report has… Continue reading →

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