Debt may be barrier for aspiring home-owners

The last few years have seen a notable change in patterns of home-ownership, with a well-documented shift towards renting and away from buying.

The last few years have seen a notable change in patterns of home-ownership, with a well-documented shift towards renting and away from buying.

However, the evidence is that this is a situation borne not of a social or cultural change but necessity, linked to the difficulty of getting on the housing leaders as prices have risen and the supply of new homes has dwindled.

A Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) survey has added weight to this explanation of the trend, showing that the actual desire to become a homeowner remains high.
 
It found that 81 per cent of British adults intend to be homeowners ten years from now, with 74 per cent aspiring to achieve this goal inside the next two years.

And the aspirations are higher among those aged under 35, indicating that young people are not approaching the issue with a different attitude to their parents' generation.

However, CML chief economist Bob Pannell has noted, only a third of those who want to be homeowners in the next two years believe they will achieve this.

He remarked: "The results clearly show that the British love affair with home-ownership is far from over. But achieving the home-ownership dream has become more difficult for people, and is likely to remain so, especially for the young."

One issue that may form a barrier to many is affordability and debt could make this harder still, as using up income to pay off existing borrowing will make it harder to save for mortgage deposits or fund regular mortgage repayments.

Debt consolidation measures may help aspiring homeowners to reduce their unsecured debt burden and increase their prospects of being able to afford a mortgage.

According to the Land Registry, the average house price in England and Wales is £160,417.

However, this is subject to substantial variations between different areas and regions, with the typical London home costing £360,721.

By James Francis

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