11/10/2005

Thirty-somethings face home-buying problems

Increasing house prices could leave one in three thirty-somethings unable to afford to buy their own homes, unless house-building increases, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has warned.

According to figures released by the ODPM, if current building rates continue, the proportion of thirty-something couples able to afford their own home by 2026 would fall to a third, compared to half the couples today and two thirds in the late Eighties.

Currently, 71% of households in the UK are homeowners, but 90% say they would like to own their own home at some point.

However, according to the Survey of English Housing 2004/05, the number of households belonging to those under 30 years of age with a mortgage fell from 40% to 36% between 2000 and 2004.

The ODPM also found that 23% of first-time buyers are relying on gifts and family loans in order to afford a deposit, compared to just 4% twenty-five years ago.

The ODPM figures have been published in response to the Barker Review on housing supply. The review showed that Britain had not been building enough housing to meet rising demand for several decades. Over the last 30 years, the number of households has increased by over 30%, but the level of building of new homes has dropped by over 50%.

The government has already developed proposals to increase house building over the next ten years as part of the Sustainable Communities Plan, as well as shared equity schemes to help first-time buyers get onto the property ladder.

Housing and Planning Minister Yvette Cooper said: “For the sake of today’s ten-year-olds we need to start planning new homes for the future right now. It isn’t fair if people’s chances of owning their own home in the future depends on whether their parents or grandparents were homeowners before them.”

(KMcA/SP)

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