Property predicament

Hannah ThompsonYouGovLabs and UK Public Opinion Website Editor
August 20, 2010, 7:23 PM GMT+0

Many among our panel believe that most will never be able to afford to buy their own home, even despite today’s fluctuating house prices. This emerges as the Chartered Institute of Housing reveals that first-time buyers in some parts of the country would need to amass funds of £40,000 if they are to have any hope of paying a deposit.

The mood amongst many of our panellists is grim when it comes to the housing market, with many feeling that ‘house prices are grossly over inflated’ and ‘houses are simply not worth the money they command’. A large number also believe that the problem of entering the house market will remain and that coming generations will find it too expensive to buy.

One explained that ‘the prices in the housing market are over inflated and out of sync with wages, which will always exclude a section of the community (especially the young)’ while another lamented that they ‘have never been able to buy my own house even though I have worked all my life’.The government should ‘invest in more social housing’ and help first-time buyers who have full-time jobs to get on the property ladder, suggest some. However, others have shed a different light on recent reports that Britain will become a nation of life-long renters, with one asking ‘is it so bad to return to renting long term?’ while another complained that there is ‘too much emphasis on home ownership’.

A few, however, disagree with the perception that buying a house is becoming out of reach. ‘Anybody can afford to buy a house if they put their mind to it’ says one, while another commented that there is ‘too much doom and gloom’, as ‘within 10 years this [situation] will be perceived as a ‘missed’ buying opportunity’. One panellist was more pragmatic, saying that ‘life is a balance’, and that ‘most people can afford a first time house or mortgage if they are prepared to make sacrifices’.