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Forever renters: young people increasingly giving up on home ownership

The gap between income and house prices has sky-rocketed so much in recent years that a growing number of younger people are giving up the idea of ever owning their own home, according to a major report on attitudes to getting on the housing ladder.

Close to half - 48% - of young Brits think that it is now harder than ever to get a foot on the housing ladder, while a quarter of 18-34 year olds think that the only way that they will manage to become a home owner is by inheriting the cash.

One in five of those surveyed said that home ownership is a thing of the past, which strengthens the view that more people may be abandoning the idea of ever owning property and accepting the idea of long-term renting.


Eight out of ten feel that a lack of affordable property is keeping home ownership out of reach, and as a result 14% think that they will need to rent forever.

Unsurprisingly, deposits remain too unrealistic and expensive for more than half - 52% - of young people as the average age of those buying their first home has crept slowly up to 30.

The average deposit put down for an average first-time buyer home is £32,321, surging to £100,445 in London. Northern Ireland has the lowest at £16,695 – less than half of the average deposit needed in the South East (£47,472).

Martin Ellis, Halifax housing economist, said: “Even with the highest number of first-time buyers in the last decade in 2016, many young people still feel they are running financial gauntlet – saving for a deposit, finding an affordable property in the right area and managing to fund living in the meantime.”

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