6 million Britons say they will never buy a home

With market conditions continuing to make it difficult for would-be home owners to get on the ladder, the average age Britons expect to be able to buy their first property is now 38 years old, according research from moneysupermarket.com.

Individuals who currently do not own property were asked at what age they expected to be able to buy and how they planned to pay for the deposit on their new home.

Some 31% (six million Britons) claimed they did not intend to buy a property at all.

The number of mortgage products available to first-time buyers currently stands at just 1581, a fraction of the 14,940 available in pre-crunch Britain in July 2007.

Over the last year, the number of first-time buyer products available has risen by almost 200, offering some hope for those trying to break into the housing market.

There has also been a 47% increase in the number of mortgages available up to 90% Loan to Value (LTV), and the average interest rate has dropped by 2.43% since July 2007, bringing more welcome news for first-time buyers.

However these changes don't tell the whole story. The average LTV for products available to new buyers is 77%, meaning someone taking out a mortgage on a £150,000 property would need a deposit of £34,500 - well beyond the means of most first-time buyers.

Clare Francis, mortgage spokesperson at moneysupermarket.com said: "The housing market has been hugely affected by the credit crunch and economic downturn, and first-time buyers have been hit the hardest.

"It's easy to see why nearly a third of non home owners do not intend to set foot on the property ladder. House prices may have fallen in many areas but they are still high. This coupled with the need for such a high cash deposit is pushing many people out of the market.

"There is still limited choice if you have a deposit of less than 10%, and the rates on these mortgages are around 5.30%, which is significantly higher than the most competitive rates. This also means that the monthly repayments first-time buyers face are often higher than for those who have larger deposits to put down."

"For anyone wanting to get on the ladder, who is renting or living with parents, it's important to think about how they can make cutbacks to help them build up a deposit more quickly."


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