Fake for sale sign

Anyone with ambitions to get their foot on the housing ladder by the end of the decade is in for a nasty shock: unless they have more than £60,000 going spare there's no way they can afford a home of their own.

And in London the situation is even more extreme. So what's going on, and what can buyers do?


Huge deposit

The research, for the National Housing Federation by consultancy Oxford Economics, found that by 2020 the typical FTB property in England will be worth just over £245,000. It's already £173,185 and the consultancy predicts prices will pick up during the next seven years.

Given the state of the mortgage market, the researchers have assumed that buyers will need 25% to put down in order to secure an affordable mortgage - which means they need to find over £61,000 as a deposit. This is up from the current average of £43,000.

It's a crazy situation - which takes on an air of madness when you look at the London figures.

Here the average FTB property already costs over £333,500. Incredibly, by 2020 this is expected to rise to £489,000. It means that a typical deposit will have to increase from £72,000 to over £111,500.

Unaffordable

These figures are shocking. The researchers said that salaries will also rise during this period in order to maintain affordability - as houses will only get marginally less affordable as a multiple of salary across the UK (although they will be significantly less affordable in London).

To make matters worse, for those who cannot afford to buy, life is going to get harder too - especially in London. Here rents are expected to increase from an average of £1,348 a month to £1,881.

Teresa Richardson, Assistant Director for Campaigns and Communications at the National Housing Federation, said this is reaching crisis point. She explains: "England is facing a housing crisis of huge proportions and a whole generation is at risk of being priced out of home ownership forever."

"By 2020, the average deposit required for a first home will be more than £60,000 – and in London it will top £100,000. Where are young first time buyers and hardworking families supposed to find the money for the safe, secure home that so many of us aspire to?"

What can you do?

The experts agree that there is only one solution to all of this: the country needs to build more homes. Richardson says: "The Government must take action as a matter of urgency, supporting developers and local councils to work together to turn the tide of an escalating crisis."

In the interim, it's up to individuals to find their own solution. The lucky minority will be able to turn to family for funding. Over the last five years, parents have provided over 228,000 first time buyers with more than £1.31 billion in deposits, according to The Equity Release Council, and this trend is unlikely to slow any time soon.

Typically, 30% of first time buyers have financial help from their parents with the average 'helping hand' sitting at 20% of their first homes deposit. This suggests that over the last five years, UK parents have injected an average of £23.05 million into the housing market each month.

Grandparents are also keen to help their family get on the housing ladder and 6% of first time buyers received an average of 18% of their deposit from older relatives, which equates to £125 million over the last five years.

Bleak

For the less fortunate 64%, there will be no alternative but to cut their costs and save everything they can. Even then more than one in four wannabe first time buyers say that it will take them ten years or more to raise the necessary deposit to buy a property, according to the Building Societies Association. Below inflation wage rises, higher rents and the increasing cost of living are all making saving harder.

All in all it's a bleak picture. Until more homes are built and prices become more affordable, there seems little that most people can do, other than spend a small fortune on rental accommodation, compromise their lifestyle in order to save - and look forward to ten more years of this existence before they have a chance to get onto the housing ladder.

But what do you think? Will they manage it? And is it worth it? Or is owning your own home not worth the trouble? Let us know in the comments.



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