The government may have thrown young wannabe homeowners a tiny bone in last week's budget by scrapping stamp duty for first-time buyers, but the reality is: owning a home remains a pipe dream for most young people (unless they're willing to make some big sacrifices, such as opting to live in a shed). And unfortunately the findings of new research will do nothing to reassure them.
According to SpareRoom.co.uk, it would take someone wanting to buy a London home a mind-boggling 68 years to save for a deposit, compared with 25 years outside of London. To calculate the depressing figures, the flatshare website took into account the average UK salary, at £27,600 (£34,473 in London); the average cost of a deposit, at £33,000 (£106,577 in London); and the fact that people save an average of 5.9% of their incomes each month.
Not only will young people be saving for a huge proportion of their lives, most of them also won't get any help. SpareRoom surveyed more than 5,000 British renters and it turns out the bank of mum and dad isn't an option for the vast majority of 20-somethings. 87% said they intend to save a deposit from their own salary, while just over a third (37%) anticipated parental help.
The vast majority of those currently flatsharing in their 20s – both in London (93%) and the rest of the UK (87%) – said they may have to leave the capital or their home town/city in order to buy, which hammers home the extent of the country's housing crisis and the squeeze on young people's wages.
While buying in their twenties is nigh on impossible for most, a few do manage it, but the survey suggests that the reality isn't actually a lifetime of security and happiness for everyone who takes the plunge. A fifth of those who had bought a home in their 20s regretted their decision, with nearly half (44%) saying they believed they'd bought too early and a fifth (22%) saying it gave them less freedom to move around.
So, if you're among the vast majority who will perhaps never own their own home, you can at least be heartened by the fact that you're not being held hostage by crippling mortgage payments. Swings and roundabouts, eh?
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