Although I previously blogged about the level of property transactions historically being higher (and therefore will return to those levels once the banks release their stranglehold on lending), some people have speculated that we’re in for a sea-change – that our national persona as a ‘nation of home-owners’ is about to change.
The theory goes that it’s only us brits that are obsessed with home-ownership and that on the continent they are quite happy renting for life. They use this their as an argument that the housing market has changed forever (the articles sometimes go on to talk about a plague of locusts, fire and pestilence, sometimes they aren’t so cheerful) and a new breed of young people are growing up that just want to rent ‘for lifestyle reasons’.
This theory has been blown out of the water by research published yesterday which shows that almost all people (90%) under 30 want to make buying a home a top priority, and don’t want to settle for long-term renting.
The poll, conducted independently for Barratt Homes, of 2,465 consumers of all ages, reveals that this age group are more opposed than any other to ‘continental’ models of tenure in which families routinely rent for the duration of their adult lives. A majority (64%) also do not want to start a family while they are renting and 43% do not want to get married until they own their own home.
The poll also suggests that tensions between different generations and long-term social problems will result if young people continue to be locked out of home ownership.
This perhaps reveals a good opportunity in the market for lenders wishing to target younger borrowers, if they are prepared to be more flexible on the rates charged.
This is echoed by Mark Clare, chief executive of Barratt Developments, who said: “Without doubt, making mortgage finance more readily available to credit-worthy first-time buyers should be top of the list. It cannot be right that people in their 30s with good jobs and good credit histories are having mortgage applications turned down.”
“I am pleased the Government has rightly identified this as an urgent problem and is meeting the banks to assess what can be done.”