Young Brits fear 'generation rent'


To Let

Most younger people believe that Britain will become a nation of renters within the next generation, a report has found.

The majority of 20 to 45-year-olds are either unsure how Government efforts to help first-time buyers can ease the struggle to get on the property ladder or do not think that they will help, Halifax found.

Some 52% of more than 8,000 people interviewed thought that renting rather than buying will become the norm within the next generation, marking an increase from 46% when the same question was asked in 2011.

Halifax's report found that the biggest chunk (40%) of people surveyed did not know whether Government initiatives such as NewBuy and Help to Buy will help to ease the struggle to get on the property ladder.
Three in 10 (30%) 20 to 45-year-olds thought the schemes would work - but the same proportion believed that they would not.

Nearly three-quarters of younger people (71%) thought that the problems facing those struggling to buy their first home are in danger of causing a damaging split between those who can afford to buy their own home and people who cannot.

Three-fifths of the non-homeowners surveyed feared that they may never be able to retire if they are forced to rent for the rest of their lives. One-fifth of those surveyed who were not on the property ladder said they had already given up hope of getting on it.

Official figures recently showed that home ownership has dropped off in recent years across England and Wales for the first time in almost a century. Some 64% of people owned their own homes in 2011, down from a peak of 69% in 2001.

The Government launched a scheme called Funding for Lending last August to kick-start the housing market, which has resulted in a sharp increase in the number of mortgages on the market and a mortgage price war, with lenders slashing their rates.

Lenders have been reporting signs of increased first-time buyer activity this year, although the latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) show that the number of loans advanced to this sector dropped back slightly in April.

© 2013 Press Association