Alexander Britton, writing two pieces in the Nottingham Post (Saturday, 26 July 2014) has given a Nottingham slant to a BBC News article covered elsewhere on this website (Young Adults Face Housing Squeeze). ...



They say that buying your first home is a rite of passage, but increasingly it is one only experienced by people who have passed 30 years of age.

Rising prices and difficulties in stumping up a deposit are being given as reasons for young people struggling to buy a house.

Bucking the trend is 24-year-old Jamie Wragg, who climbed on to the property ladder in April when he bought his first home. After living with his parents, he decided he wanted somewhere to call his own – but had to work 280-hours a month to save enough cash to get a deposit.

"It was hard, I pretty much did all the overtime I could for months and months – I didn't have much of a life outside work," he said. "But I've got a house now and it's all mine. It's great, although with all the ironing and cleaning, it's made me realise how much my mum did for me."

Mr Wragg, a special constable for Nottinghamshire police, said it did not surprise him to hear that only three per cent of all house sales in June were to people aged 18 to 30.

He said: "It's hard work saving for a deposit – unless your family can help you out or you work like mad, then it's just not really possible for young people to get a house."

Mr Wragg only put a 10 per cent deposit on his £100,000 home in Mansfield Road, Blidworth, thanks to a scheme run by Nottinghamshire County Council. He said: "I don't think that I could have afforded a deposit of 15 or 20 per cent – and I know that there are lots of people who are in the same boat."

The difficulties for first-time buyers were laid out by research from the National Association of Estate Agents which said the number of buyers aged 18-30 were at their lowest ever point.

Mark Hayward, managing director of the organisation, said: "Things are getting even tougher for first-time buyers."

And locally, Helen Gardner of Derby Road-based letting agent Katie Homes, said: "I estimate around 60-70 per cent of our clients are young professionals in their 20s and 30s.

"It's not just couples, but more groups of three to four looking to rent together to save money for the future."

Claire Maguire, 26, rents a home on Musters Road, West Bridgford, with her husband and said she felt priced out of the market. She said: "We look at what's left after rent, bills and food and it's not a lot.

"There's no way we can get a deposit together for a place any time soon – despite the fact we both have relatively well-paid jobs. Owning our own place is a long off dream for us."



Estate agents say rising house prices and "ridiculous" deposits are stopping a generation of young people from getting a foot on the property ladder.

Latest figures show that just three per cent of homes were bought by 18 to 30 year olds in June.

And The Nottingham Building Society says the average age of first-time buyers is 28 – up from 24 in the 1960s when people settled into their own homes earlier.

Richard Bocock, area sales manager for The Nottingham's North East Midlands region, said: "It is difficult for first-time buyers at the moment with prices outstripping increases in wages.

"Buyers have to be realistic in what they are looking for.

"Over the next 12 to 18 months, I don't see things changing all that much – but when interest rates increase, that could have a big impact on the housing market."

Student Katrina McCarthy, 21, of Bulwell, said she could not see herself being able to buy a house in her 20s.

She added: "Mortgages are a dream; not in the sense that I want one, but because they feel so distant."

Given the squeeze on young people's budgets, more of them are turning to renting.

Helen Gardner, of letting agent Katie Homes, on Derby Road, Nottingham, said: "When we first set up five years ago, we used to see a lot of families renting.

"But now the majority of people are young professionals which suggests these families have only just got enough for a deposit.

"I would say about 65 per cent of people that come to us are professionals in their 20s and 30s and perhaps these people would have been looking to buy in the past.

"There's nothing wrong with renting, of course."

The figures from the National Association of Estate Agents show the number of buyers aged 18 to 30 hits lowest mark at just three per cent of recorded sales for June.

Mark Hayward, Managing Director of the organisation, said: "Not only do you now need to stump up ridiculously large sums of money in terms of deposits and stamp duty to be able to get on the ladder, but new rules mean buyers will also have to prove they can easily afford repayments now and in the future."

Nottingham Post On-Line Comments (26 July 2014):

08.38: Richard Mikula: It has been known for years that people cannot get onto the property market because of high house prices and the large deposit required and interest payable on the mortgage. Find it annoying when individuals are allowed to snap up many properties who then go on and turn them into student accommodation when family homes are needed,yet all that is being converted or built in Nottingham is for students. Perhaps one day there will be a crash and Nottingham will be left with an abundance of empty student homes unusable for families. Many good family homes around the city have gone to students,what a waste of perfectly good properties


09.18: sbrefan: The biggest culprits driving rising house prices are the estate agents and their national associations. They are forever putting out press releases in the media with regards to this with the sole intention of creating business for themselves. The profits made by estate agents are extortionate and as they charge a percentage of the property value, the higher the value the higher their profits for the same amount of work. It seems to me that estate agents operate a cartel as there is no meaningful price difference between any for a given property in a given area. One of their latest ploys is to try and insist you use a solicitors/conveyancer they recommend; in my experience this can be suicidal as the estate agent is taking a fee for passing on the business, (making even more profit!) this results in inferior legal work. Their fees in any case are always far in excess of the legal costs but they take on no risk at all. My advice to anyone is contact a local solicitor first. They will tell you what you need in the way of documents to enable your sale, then use estate agents if you have to, but try and sell your property for a time at least yourself, it costs little to make your own 'For Sale' sign and you can utilise social media for free advertising along with many other websites. Don't be duped by estate agents!

11.20: DiddlyDiamond: Ban buy to let purchases to reduce the upward pressure on prices and help first time buyers. Housing is a scarce and necessary resource and needs to be better regulated so as to enable more people to own their own homes.

11.58: okdavid: gorden brown has helped create this problem by robbing peoples private pensions that they have saved for all their lives and now invest in bricks and mortar for their pension income