36 per cent of young Britons abandon hopes of owning a home, Halifax poll shows

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 June, 2013, 4:31am

Most young Britons say rising barriers to home ownership are dividing the country socially and economically, and one in five has abandoned the dream of owning a property, a survey by mortgage provider Halifax said.

More than 70 per cent of 8,051 survey respondents said the country was being split between those who could and those who could not buy a home, which in the long run could impact neighbourhoods, families and the job market, the lender, owned by Lloyds Banking Group, said on Monday.

The respondents, aged 25 to 40, said their generation would be left without sufficient resources for retirement, social mobility would be reduced and the country's wealth gap would widen.

House prices rose steeply in Britain from the late 1990s until the global financial crisis broke in 2008, and they have remained high through a combination of factors, including historically low interest rates and shared ownership schemes.

"Home ownership is clearly still an important goal for a lot of people, but fewer consider it to be something they'll be able to achieve," said Halifax's mortgages director, Craig McKinlay.

The number of Britons renting privately is at its highest level since the 1990s at 22 million households, the survey said, with many unable to afford to buy a home due to stagnant incomes, the big deposits needed and a lack of bank lending.