24 May, 2024/ by Homeward Legal /First Time Buyer

The difficulty for First-Time Buyers (FTBs) in getting a foothold on the lowest rung of the property ladder has never been more acute; and the problem is becoming increasingly critical as the months go buy.

It's very easy for the older home-owning generation to shrug their shoulders and make the assumption that younger aspiring homeowners simply don't have the gumption or the planning to save enough money for a deposit - but such unfair aspersions are wholly unmerited in the face of the counter-evidence.

In truth, a cursory search of the Office for National Statistics for information on the inflation of house prices, retail prices and also wages shows that there exists a great disparity between the figures and, more importantly, the rates at which each is rising. This is particularly noticeable in the disparity between the figures.

In fact, in the last 25 years, the average house price has risen over twice as fast as the average wage or salary increase. This, in turn, has not been helped by increased mortgage rates, rampant inflation that the government is still wavering to get under control, the inevitable increase in deposits required to keep in step with those rises in house prices, and the massive increase in amounts required in the rental market for somewhere to live. All of which is making it almost impossible to save significant amounts for any kind of deposit.

In a recent report by the Building Societies Association (BSA), the figures and statistics underline another important point: the structure of the housing market - buying and selling - is skewed towards a focus on couples buying together. What this demographic brings to the party are two incomes on which the deposit can be built. And, as a result of having double the disposable income, these couples are also in a better position to afford the mortgage products that are available, which are now at a premium for the most part.

In particular, the BSA's report highlights the point that, for those who want to remain single or don't wish to buy a property with a partner or friends, the market simply no longer caters for them.

There is now an entrenched reliance on the famed “Bank of Mum and Dad” - where the children rely on money from their parents (either requiring them to dip into their savings or to go through the remortgage route) to assist in affording a deposit. 

Or the only other viable option is to accept the multiple incomes from pairing up with partners or friends to afford any kind of property - and this usually means it's inconvenient for their involvement in own community or to facilitate travel to work in the first place. Buying in a partnership inevitably requires a lot of compromises on everyone's part.

In a BBC News article looking into the subject, there is also another point of view that needs to be considered. To get on the property ladder, it appears that single FTBs are considering hooking up with someone else - financially a sound option, but that may not be the best option for mental and physical health and well-being.

To solve the problem for FTBs - and particularly those who are single - the BSA is promoting the necessity for the Government to take the lead and work with lenders, the broader housing market and members of the public, so that they can develop a satisfactory and coherent plan to make homes more affordable for everyone, more available and more appropriate to the needs of the individuals who are going to live in them.

The BSA also advocates looking at a set of regulatory changes to assist those who are thwarted by the current housing industry problems, such as placing a cap on “high loan-to-income lending”, which effectively cuts down the options available currently.

It is certainly true that there are no easy solutions to the problem, but something needs to occur to initiate solutions. With the support of the BSA and its members, and with the involvement of the requisite authorities, the problem should be eased in time.

The full BSA report can be read here.

You've pulled together your deposit, you've had your offer accepted by the seller, and you're keen to get going with the process of owning a new home. You might have a tight budget but want to ensure that the legal side of things are sorted out efficiently and precisely without spending too much.

That's where Homeward Legal can really help with affordable but quality conveyancing services! 

They will start work on your planned purchase (and/or sale) as soon as you agree to the quotation and appoint them to represent you. 

Homeward Legal will also provide a quote that will not change - what you are quoted is what you pay for standard conveyancing process.

There are some unforeseen items that might arise during the purchase and/or sale, but the solicitor discusses these and their cost as they come up. 

In addition, to protect the homebuyer further, Homeward Legal operates a ‘no completion, no fee' promise, which ensures that, should the purchase or sale not go through as planned to completion status, no payment is required.

Call  to get your conveyancing quote started, or to discuss your concerns with your plans to move.

Or you can get a quick quote, using Homeward Legal's easy-to-use quote generator.

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