A quarter of Londoners, and one in six Britons, say they’ll never afford a home

Eir NolsoeData Journalist
May 11, 2021, 1:15 PM UTC

Londoners in social grade C2DE, who tend to do manual work, are the most likely to say they’ll never be able to buy their own place

Contrary to what many commentators predicted at the start of the pandemic, the coronavirus crisis has pushed up UK house prices further, raising the ladder for those dreaming of home ownership. But new YouGov data shows that many people have already written it off, saying they will never be able to afford their own home.

One in four people in the capital (24%) say they’re unlikely to ever hold the keys to their own home, compared with 17% of all Britons.

The median age that Londoners who are still looking to buy their first home expect to be able to do so at is 35 years old – the same as among Britons as a whole.

Only 5% of Britons and 4% of Londoners say they don’t want to own a home.    

Social grade and location have a big impact on whether people think they’ll be able to own a home.

A third of capital residents in social grade C2DE (32%), who tend to do manual work, say they’ll never hold the keys to their own place – nearly twice as many as among Londoners who classify as ABC1s (18%) and who are often professionals.

The same pattern is true for Britons in general. Only 11% of Britons in social grade ABC1 have given up on home ownership. The figure is over twice as high among those in social grade C2DE at 26%.

Londoners who live in the inner city are also more likely to have come to terms with a lifetime of renting at 28%, compared with 22% of people in outer London.

There’s no notable difference in how many ethnic minority Londoners (23%) and white capital dwellers (24%) have parked aspirations of buying a home. But it’s worth noting that home ownership among white Londoners is much higher than among those from ethnic minorities.

See the full results for Londoners and all Britons