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'Young people are giving up on home ownership - we need to help them'

 (ES)
(ES)

Does London hate its young? Is this a city primarily for older generations and a wealthy elite?

It feels like the ladder has been drawn up and put out of reach for anyone without a property, a case of ‘We’re alright, Jack.’

‘Oh, and Jack, we messed up the economy down there, sorry about that.’

Where does a city’s energy come from? Is it not the ambitious youth trying to make their mark? Isn’t this why people come to a city? To be in the thick of the action and achieve, in whatever field you choose; the understanding is that if you put your mind to it, you can get a foothold and establish yourself.

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But what if establishing yourself becomes impossible? Why bring your ambition here at all? A new survey by the HomeOwners Alliance says less than half of aspiring first-time buyers expect that they will achieve that goal. Seven in 10 surveyed wanted to be homeowners but 52 per cent of them expect they will never get there. House prices in London fell in 2023 but have risen again so far this year, signs of a market revival, but not great news for property newcomers. Meanwhile the rental market remains incredibly difficult, so saving up a deposit can feel like an impossible dream.

Will Jeremy Hunt’s budget look after potential first-time buyers? Possibly, but it feels like there needs to be a bigger culture shift to support younger generations in order to avoid a brain drain. A city is built not with bricks, but people, and they run on hope. So what if that hope goes?