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Younger people turn backs on homeownership

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Most young people despair of ever buying their own home, despite government attempts to encourage first-time buyers onto the property ladder.

According to the third annual survey carried out by the UK’s largest mortgage lender, Halifax, 52% of the 8,000 20 to 45-year-olds surveyed think that renting property will replace homeownership as the ‘norm’ within a generation. This time last year 46% of respondents expressed this opinion.

When asked about government schemes such as Funding for Lending, Help to Buy and NewBuy, 40% of respondents were confused, saying they did not understand how such schemes could help aspiring homeowners. Three in 10 (30%) thought the schemes would be useful, but the same proportion of respondents dismissed them as unable to help.

The majority of respondents (71%) believe that the housing issue in the UK is becoming socially divisive, with the gap widening between those with the resources to purchase property and those without.

While 52% believe we are moving toward ‘Generation Rent’, respondents do not welcome the prospect – 60% believe that if they have to rent forever they will never be able to afford to retire.

Halifax revealed that almost one-third (31%) of 20 to 45-year-olds said they would only be prepared to save for three years to raise enough cash for a deposit before giving up. One-fifth of those surveyed who were not on the property ladder said they had already given up hope of getting on it.

Craig McKinlay, mortgages director at Halifax, said:

“Homeownership is clearly still an important goal for a lot of people, but fewer and fewer people consider it to be something they’ll ever achieve. “More needs to be done to redress the balance, both through making home ownership more accessible and offering more stability through the rental sector.”

Housing minister Mark Prisk said: “The number of first-time buyers is at its highest level since 2007, but we are always looking for new ways to help hard working people make their dream of home ownership a reality and offer valuable alternatives to the bank of mum and dad to get together that much-needed deposit.”

Homeownership in the UK has been falling – slowly but steadily – since it peak in of 69% in 2001 to 64% in 2011.

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