House prices rose faster in July than any time since 2006, and lending to first-time buyers was at its highest since 2007 – prompting housing charity Shelter to estimate that on average a single Briton will have to save for more than 14 years (29.5 years in London) simply to get enough for a deposit of 20 per cent on a property. A young couple with children would need 12 years (20 years in London).
Even with help from the government’s Help to Buy scheme, which can provide for a deposit of up to 5 per cent, a home is still out of the reach of most people.
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors credited the government’s Help to Buy scheme with sparking this new market activity. London freesheet City A.M. crowed on 13 August, “The property market is steaming ahead of the rest of the economy, as mortgage lending and a surge of buyers in July drive the UK’s emerging recovery.” They still can’t see a bubble growing, even after the last property bubble burst.
Many young people face the prospect of living with their parents until well into their thirties. Renting hardly seems a viable alternative either, with latest figures showing that rents rose 3.5 per cent in the past year to an average of £737 a month, the third highest level on record.
The country’s largest letting agency, LSL, predicts rents could average £800 a month by 2015, which would represent a rise of 21 per cent since 2010. By 2015, it says, 20 per cent of the population could be living in the private rented sector. ■