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'Brits are giving up on their dream of homeownership' as first-time buyers struggle with high house prices

Getting on the property ladder feels increasingly out of reach to the UK’s first-time buyers (Barbara Gibson )
Getting on the property ladder feels increasingly out of reach to the UK’s first-time buyers (Barbara Gibson )

Less than half of aspiring first-time buyers expect their homeownership dream to become a reality, warns a new report from HomeOwners Alliance.

While seven in 10 people surveyed who are not homeowners said they want to get onto the property ladder, 52 per cent of them believing they will never be able to achieve this goal.

“Brits are giving up on their dream of homeownership, our damning survey reveals,” said Paula Higgins, chief executive of the HomeOwners Alliance.

“With the upcoming election, a key issue will be how the parties plan to build more homes and provide much-needed support to first-time buyers.”


Opinium surveyed 2,000 people across the UK in January 2024.

The top barriers named by wannabe first-time buyers include high house prices (60 per cent), saving for a deposit (44 per cent), the ability to afford monthly mortgage repayments (33 per cent) and the ability to get approved for a mortgage (31 per cent), the survey found.

House prices in London dropped in 2023, but asking prices have begun to rise again this month by three per cent, according to Rightmove.

The average asking price for a London house is now £682,989

A widening generation gap was also apparent in the data, with 73 per cent of people who want to get onto the property ladder reporting that their parents already own their own home.

“Supporting young people to own their own homes is a priority,” said a Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities spokesperson.

“Since 2010 we have helped over 860,000 households purchase a home through Government-backed schemes and have delivered 2.5 million homes.

“Through our long-term plan for housing we remain on track to meet our manifesto commitment to build one million homes this Parliament, backed by £10 billion investment, including an additional £11.5 billion in the affordable homes programme, and just last week announced a renewed focus on brownfield land to deliver more of the homes this country needs.”

There are also rumours that chancellor Jeremy Hunt will introduce a new government-backed 99 per cent mortgage scheme in the Spring Budget next month aimed at first-time buyers who are struggling to save for a house deposit.