Families in the South East who are never able to get on the property ladder will be more than £735,700 worse off over their lifetime than those who can buy a home in their twenties, new research from Shelter shows.
The unique study by the housing charity paints a picture of the huge financial, social and psychological implications of England’s housing shortage on people left locked out of a home of their own.
By analysing the income and assets of ‘first time flyers’ who have help onto the property ladder in their twenties, ‘first time triers’ who are only able to buy after years of saving, and ‘renting lifers’ who can never buy, the research reveals the huge financial cost of being priced out of home-ownership.
The study looked at a range of factors, including house prices and rents, earnings, essential living costs and interest rates and discovered families that rent for life in the South East end up £735,700 worse off over their lifetime.
Through in-depth research the report also uncovered the damaging social and emotional impacts of being priced out, including:
having less stability in their finances, careers and relationships
feeling alienated, left out or jealous when friends and peers had help from family to buy their own homes, and ‘looked down on’ for not being a homeowner
putting off parenthood because they don’t have a stable home of their own
for those who did start a family while renting, the lack of space put a big strain on their relationships and on their children’s wellbeing
And with the instability and expense of renting taking its toll, over 80% of private renters say they would like to own their own home, according to a YouGov poll carried alongside the research. Sadly, of those renters who would like to buy, 41% think it is unlikely that they ever will.
Case study: ‘First time trier’ Robert, 36, has been pushed from one private rented home to another for the past decade. He had no hope of saving for a home of his own until recently when a family member offered cut-price renting rates to help him save for a deposit.
“I had resigned myself to the fact that without a windfall I would never have a chance of getting on the property ladder.
“Renting has been a nightmare – I’ve not been able to stay anywhere for more than two years, and it’s been so hard to find somewhere close to work that’s affordable. Rent has eaten up most of my money each month so, despite living as frugally as possible, I’ve never been able to save anything significant.
“I’ve felt looked down upon because I’m not a homeowner, and it’s even affected relationships with family and friends. I’m so lucky to finally have financial help from a family member to try and get a place of my own – I don’t know how anyone on a normal wage could buy without it.”
Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: “The housing shortage is changing the face of our nation, with dramatic consequences for an entire generation finding themselves priced out and losing out.
“The failure of successive governments to build the affordable homes we need means that, for the first time in over half a century, millions of young people today face worse prospects than their parents.
“Everyone should have the chance of a stable future where they can put down roots, but for many the reality is a lifetime of frustration that they can’t move on in life, coping with expensive and unstable private renting, and feeling alienated from their friends who can get help from the Bank of Mum and Dad.
“We need politicians to deliver a big and bold plan that will finally get to grips with our housing shortage, and put a stable future back within reach for both generation rent and generations to come.”
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