Thursday, 18 September 2014 03:26

Families priced out of housing market

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Families priced out of housing market

HOUSE prices are rising so much that soon only the wealthiest people will be able to buy their own home, says a report.

Only the wealthiest of the next generation will be able to buy a home if current trends continue, said the National Housing Federation.

First-time buyers now have to pay, in real terms, ten times the deposit needed in the early 1980s, according to a federation report.

The Broken Market, Broken Dreams study says first-time buyers today must earn more, borrow more, stump up a larger deposit and rely more on family wealth to buy their own home.

The average first-time buyer today needs a £30,000 deposit – almost ten times the amount required a generation ago, claims the study.

First-time buyers have an average income of £36,500, compared to the average salary for first-time buyers in the 1980s of £20,000, it said.

A first-time buyer has to borrow 3.4 times their annual income on average, compared to first time buyers in 1979 who needed to borrow just 1.7 times their income.

And two-thirds of first-time buyers receive financial help from parents – a figure that has doubled in five years.

As a result homeownership is being pushed out of reach of average earners including nurses, firefighters and plumbers.

And with the number of homeowners falling and first-time buyers not getting considerably older, it indicates that the pool of those buying homes is shrinking to those with the greatest wealth.

Meanwhile, almost 80% of people in England think it's harder to own a home now than it was for their parents' generation, according to a YouGov poll.

David Orr, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation, said the struggle faced by the younger generations was being felt across the country.

"With the high salary, and huge deposit younger generations now need to buy even a modest home, home ownership is quickly becoming an exclusive members club.

"We've found that eight out of 10 people don't believe any of the main political parties will effectively deal with housing, but they still have the chance to put that right."

"With a bold long term government plan for house building our housing crisis is solvable."

The report came as the Rural Services Network warned that local communities would suffer under government plans that will reduce the amount of affordable housing in the countryside.

The Rural Services Network has called on ministers to abandon proposals that mean housing developments of less than 10 units would no longer have to include affordable homes.

Network chief executive Graham Biggs said: "The 10-home threshold would be nothing short of ruinous for the provision of affordable housing in rural areas."

The vast majority of developments were below the ten unit threshold - often because local communities looked on smaller housing schemes more favourably.

But Mr Biggs warned: "Without an obligation to provide any affordable homes, the supply of affordable housing will virtually dry up."

The government insists it is working to mend a "broken housing market"

Sorting out the mess had been the coalition government's top priority since it came to power in 2010, said housing minister Brandon Lewis.

The government had "channelled new investment into every area of the housing market," he said in a speech to the National Housing Federation conference.

"The housing market in England has turned a corner," Mr Lewis told delegates in Birmingham on Wednesday (17 September).

"Almost half a million homes have been built, including almost 200,000 affordable homes, and house building is at its highest level since 2007."

In the year to June, the reformed planning system had granted permission for 230,000 new homes, said Mr Lewis.

Homebuyers were able to get the housing ladder again and 50,000 households had benefited through the government's Help to Buy scheme.

The government was "well on track" to deliver 170,000 new affordable homes over four years, Mr Lewis told listeners.

"Taken together our affordable housing programmes will deliver 335,000 new homes by 2018, and achieve the fastest rate of affordable house building for at least two decades.

"These are impressive numbers. But they are much more than that. These new affordable homes are making a real difference to families across the country."

People in this conversation

  • Guest (Michael Burt)


    It is Ironic that Margret Thatcher was a person who encouraged home ownership,she encouraged the sell off of council
    housing. Yet it would seem that it is conservative administrations that are discouraging house building. Was her policy and present policy to force people back into rented accomodation at the mercy of landlords. Even housing assotiation tenants aresuffering from the rental policies of landlords when the housing associations are required to charge at 80% of the private rental

  • Guest (Derrick Dyas)


    They did it with Scotland so they could do it with Housing. To resolve the housing crisis within a generation, the main political parties have to come together and agree a 20 year housing strategy that is based on the chronic needs of the country and not political dogma.
    There are policies that will help revive ALL sectors of the housing market and it is clearly evident that investment in housing produces a significant social as well as economic return.
    Consensus is the missing link.

    from Solihull, West Midlands, UK

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