Home ownership is increasingly out of reach for British consumers, who say the market has become expensive and inaccessible and that saving for a new home is now not their top financial priority.
According to a survey by Dutch bank ING some 79 per cent of Britons agree it is increasingly difficult for first-time buyers to get a foot on the property ladder, although 71 per cent acknowledge that it is better to own than to rent from a financial perspective.
While 43 per cent expect house prices to increase further in the coming year and 58 per cent say the housing market is on the ‘wrong track’, the substantial majority of consumers who have never owned a house say they are prioritising at least one other goal, such as raising a family, paying off education debt, living in a convenient location or funding hobbies or travelling - any or all of these over saving for a house.
Buying a house remains an important life goal for most people in the survey.
Of those currently renting and who have never owned a house, just eight per cent say they never want to.
Of those who rent and have never owned, 39 per cent say they don’t expect to be able to buy. Those who do expect to own a house in the future appear to accept this will likely come later in life.
A quarter of 25 to 34-year olds anticipate having to wait until they are older than 35 before buying. Just nine per cent of non owners anticipate buying before the age of 30.
For the third year running, the percentage who say the housing market is heading in the wrong direction has increased - this year it’s 58 per cent compared to 50 per cent in 2017.
A lack of affordable housing locally and nationally were the most commonly cited reasons.