Almost 50% of Britons who have not bought a home by their mid-thirties doubt they will ever be able to do so

24th March 2016


Some 49% of Britons aged 35 to 40, who aspire to home ownership – equivalent to over 800,000 people – think that it is ‘unlikely’ or ‘very unlikely’ that they will ever own a property.

The survey, from Yorkshire Building Society found that more than two-thirds, at 69%, of young adults aged 18 to 40 felt that owning their own home was crucial to feeling that they had succeeded in life, as well as a source of social and financial security.

However, the importance that young adults placed on home-ownership was not matched by equal levels of optimism about their ability to achieve this milestone, particularly among older respondents.

The research thus suggests that an inability to buy a home is leaving many young Britons facing an ‘early life crisis.’

Andy Caton, executive director of Yorkshire Building Society, said: “It is very sad to see how the hope of owning a home is fading for so many, especially as people approach their mid-thirties.

“For most people, owning a home is not just about security, it is also evidently integral to their feelings of self-worth, success and self-esteem.

“Hundreds of thousands of adults across the UK feel unable to reach this important milestone in their lives, with many reaching the conclusion that they will never be able to buy their own home like their parents and grandparents did.”

But despite the increasing number of obstacles, home ownership is still seen by most Britons as one of life’s biggest aspirations, the survey found.

Two in three, at 69%, young Britons said they believed owning their own home was essential to feeling they had succeeded in life.

But almost half, at 45%, didn’t think they were earning enough money to be able to buy their own place, while a similar proportion (46%) worried they would not be able to afford mortgage repayments, and two out of five at 38% complained they weren’t managing to raise the required deposit. One in 10 people claimed that lack of job security was preventing them from pursuing their dream of owning their own home.

Latest UK house price figures show that property values have risen to a record high, with the typical first-time buyer paying 7.1 per cent more than they would have a year earlier.

The average price paid for a starter home in the UK is now around £219,000, meaning that, with a deposit of 10%, buyers would need a salary of around £45,000 a year to get their first step on the housing ladder.

The monthly rises continue to exceed wage growth, causing further problems for aspiring homeowners already struggling to save or find a mortgage lender, with the average home now costing 9.37 times the average salary, up from 4.5 in 1971.

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