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Stay at home 50s

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30/06/2006

Almost a quarter of those in their 50s either rent or live with their parents. Christina Jordan reports

It is not just those in their 20s and 30s who find it hard to get on the property ladder, according to research from Alliance & Leicester, as nearly a quarter (23%) of people in their 50s are either renting or living with their parents.

A significant 22% in their 50s are renting and 1% are still living with their parents (1%) and do not own their own property. But according to the survey, 4 in 10 (41%) of these non-homeowners desperately want to buy but cannot afford it.

Last year, only three in 10 (33%) of the over-50s faced this problem. Nevertheless, it is still mainly those in their 20s and 30s who feel they are not able to afford to get on the housing ladder.

A first-time buyer is now on average 34 years old and over half of non-homeowners in their 20s (56%) and 30s (58%) complain about house prices being out of the reach.

Wannabe first-time buyer Claire Gilbert, of West London, is typical of a 20-something who just cannot afford to buy. She says: “Where I live in West Kensington it is over a quarter of a million pounds for a small one-bed flat, which is way beyond my budget. And prices are rising much more quickly than my wages so I can see myself getting to 50 and still not being able to afford to buy a home.”

Stephen Leonard, director of mortgages at Alliance & Leicester comments: “Our research reveals that the affordability issue is more widespread than you’d expect and not just something that affects Britain’s youngsters. Although those in their 20s and 30s are most affected by this problem, an increasing number of those over 50 are also finding it hard to afford a house.”

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