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Property ownership is ‘out of reach’ to over 17 million Britons

According to the latest report to be issued by Abbey, over 17 million Britons cite a number of various reasons as to why they feel property ownership in the UK is but a mere dream. Nonetheless, of these, by far the biggest group, comprising over 7 million Britons, claim they simply cannot afford to buy a house in the UK any longer.

Although the Abbey’s core survey sample was fairly small – at 1,000 – it has lead to some interesting findings. Principal among these was the fact that despite there being hundreds, if not thousands, of different mortgage products available in the UK today, over 7 million of us felt we simple could not afford to get on the property ladder.

Recent cost comparison figures on earnings to mortgage borrowings, which compared earning to mortgage borrowings in 1970 with those of today, however, would appear to strongly back this. The research found that homeowners in the UK were borrowing, on average, 2.2 times their earnings in 1970, whereas today this figure is closer to 4.4 times our average earnings.

The Abbey’s finding are also being reflected in other surveys being published at the moment, with the Mortgage Advice Bureau showing a 25% increase in the number of Britons willing to take-out 100% mortgages in the first 9 months of 2006, against the same time period for 2005, just so they can get on the property ladder. This has lead to some concern among industry watchers and consumer groups that many young Britons are now over-reaching themselves with UK first-time buyer mortgages in order to try and get a foot on the UK property ladder.

Nonetheless, while simply not being able to afford to repay a UK mortgage was clearly the number one reason why many Britons were renting over owning property, other findings were also interesting. Among the alternative reasons why Britons were not rushing out to buy a home were concerns over job security and waiting to see if UK property prices would fall. With most experts predicting another round of rises in average UK property prices through 2007, the 3 million Britons claiming that waiting for property prices to fall may be in for a longer wait than they anticipated.

Nevertheless, what will be interesting to see is what happens in the future to the 5.6 million Britons who responded that they were simply not ready to take out a UK mortgage at this time.

Richard Smith
31st October 2006


More Information:

  • Mortgages – What Will Be Next?
    Maybe some forty years ago mortgages were very solid things that you took out: you would stick with the same company for the entire period of the loan and you could find fixed rate deals that would also last the full twenty five years.
  • Mortgages
    If you are looking for a mortgage in today’s market place, you may well be completely bewildered by the wealth of options out there (there are around four thousand mortgage packages available at the moment!) but don’t panic.
  • Don’t Forget The Extra Hidden Costs Of Getting A UK Mortgage
    For most of us, buying a new home is both one of the most exciting and stressful times of our lives. It goes without saying then that this is not a particularly good time to find out that you may be facing a bill of thousands of pounds in extra hidden costs for getting the mortgage to buy the UK property.
  • Can You Rely On Your Family To Help You Buy Your First Home?
    At no time in its history has the UK housing market since such a marked increase in the average value of its housing than in the last 20 years. Today, regardless of whether you come from the North-east or South-east, more and more young Britons are having to stay at home much longer and also to look more ingenious ways to try and raise the large deposits they’ll need in order to help them purchase that first home. The big question is, can you rely on your family to help you buy your first home?


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