Young Scots resigned to a life without home ownership

Craig McKinlay, mortgages director at Halifax

Fewer than half of people aged between 20 and 45 are making financial plans to save for a house while the number of those saving for a deposit has fallen, according to a new report.

The Generation Rent report from the Halifax found that three-quarters of people in the same age bracket worry they will never be able to buy their own home. High house prices and low incomes were regarded as the main barriers to getting on the property ladder.

The report’s authors said their findings “strengthen the view” that more people may be giving up on the idea of owning their own home and are instead accepting the idea of long-term renting.

The three most common barriers to home ownership that people gave were the size of the deposit needed, high property prices and low incomes.

People who do not own their own home said they would be willing to save for a deposit for about five years and four months, while people who are already on the property ladder would be prepared to save for around three years and seven months.

Figures recently released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders showed more than 300,000 people took their first step on the property ladder in 2014.

Craig McKinlay, mortgages director at Halifax, said: “While there has been an increase in first time buyers in the last 12 months, at the same time there is also a growing group of young people who believe they won’t be able to get a mortgage.

“The difference between the reality and their perception needs to be addressed urgently if we are to prevent people from giving up on getting on the housing ladder.”

The report gathered information from more than 40,000 20 to 45-year-olds and 4,000 parents with children aged between 20 and 45.

Homelessness campaigners have said the survey flags up the need for governments to build affordable housing.

Shelter’s director of communications, policy and campaigns Roger Harding said: “For the first time in decades, young people today are facing worse prospects than their parents because successive governments have ducked the question of how to fix the housing shortage.

“House prices have now shot up to 10 times the average wage, leaving ‘generation rent’ left with two alternatives – either carry on living with mum and dad, or pay out dead money to landlords.

He added: “And with prices still on the rise, it’s no surprise so many young people feel their dreams of owning a home are slipping out of reach.

“The only way to give generation rent any real hope of a home of their own is for politicians to deliver a big and bold plan that will finally deliver the affordable homes we desperately need.”

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