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Just how affordable is housing and is the Government doing enough?

Word Smith's picture
Thu, 12/05/2013 - 11:18 -- Word Smith

The number of affordable homes completed in 2012/13 was down by 29 per cent from the previous year, contributing to a chronic shortage of homes which forces up rents and pushes house prices and deposits further out of reach of first time buyers, so will the Help-to-Buy scheme be enough?

Affordability has improved with the Government stressing that it is building 170,000 new homes across England to help cope with demand.

However, for two-thirds of areas in England, couples with a child face the prospect of having to save for over a decade before they will be able to afford to purchase their own home. That’s according to the latest information commissioned by housing charity, Shelter, who say that it will take a couple on average 21 years to save for a deposit for their first home if they have children in their Twenties, compared to the time it would take a childless couple - about 6.5 years - the situation being the worst in London where the figure is double for a childless couple (11 years). For a single person, the figures are even more stark – it is estimated it would take a single person about 30 years to save for a deposit turning a whole generation of young people into “Generation Rent” locked out of home ownership for the foreseeable future, certainly most of their working lifetime, leaving it too late by the time they could afford a home, to want to even bother and meaning that there are few assets to leave to their children or to sell to pay for nursing care fees. For many families, their children could be well into secondary school before their parents can afford their own family home, putting a stable base at serious risk. This is based on having to raise a deposit of 20%.

Critics of the Government say that house building actually went down by one third and that the Government simply isn’t doing enough. What it needs to be doing, critics claim, is to boost employment, encourage apprenticeships and get Britain moving again and, in particular, stimulate the housing market far more.

This is an unpalatable prospect for many who do not want to be trapped in private renting, or having to stay with their parents well into adulthood.

The study looked at earnings, house prices, rents and spending on essentials in local authorities across the country to show the extent of the challenge faced by households wanting to save a deposit to buy a home in their area.

Even flatshare does not help because of the rise in the cost of living and it seems many couples are having to face a stark choice – a baby or the deposit for a house.


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