Dream of home ownership undimmed for young people

Getting a foot on the bottom of the property ladder remains the dream of most young people. A new survey from the Building Societies Association (BSA) says almost half of those quizzed in its recent survey aimed to buy a property within the next 10 years.

However, reflecting the difficulty of buying a first property for many people, more than a third of those aged between 25 and 34 (41 percent) said they were pessimistic about achieving their dream.

The BSA questioned more than 2,000 people for its June Property Tracker, analysing how home-owning aspirations compare to reality and looking at changes in tenure over the last decade.

Home ownership in the 25-34 age bracket has dropped from 40 percent in 2008 to 33 percent in 2018. But 62 percent of those who took part in the survey said they wanted to be a homeowner by 2028.

The survey revealed the practical difficulties 25-34-year-olds face in buying a property for the first time:

Raising a deposit – 75 percent

Access to a big enough mortgage – 46 percent

Affording a mortgage – 43 percent

Job security – 29 percent

Concern about property prices falling in the future – 18 percent

Cost of Stamp Duty – 15 percent

Finding the right property – 12 percent

The complexity of buying a home – 11 percent

Paul Broadhead, head of mortgage and housing policy at the BSA, said: “It is stark and worrying how gloomy many young people are about their chances of future home ownership.

“With the average of a first-time buyer standing at 33, this is the very group most likely to be considering buying. If they are right and their chances in 10 years’ time are still bad, the societal divide and economic impact already being felt can only grow.

“Without a massive push to build more homes to overcome the deficit of decades, it is hard to see that things will improve. Mortgage lenders also have a part to play to break down the barriers.

“As part of this the BSA has just commissioned a project to explore the potential for intergenerational lending – unlocking some of the housing wealth of the baby boomers. 

“We are at the start of the process so cannot pre-judge outcomes, but with around 39 percent of all housing wealth owned by the over 65s already, it is a valid part of the mix.”