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Homeownership is no longer top priority for UK renters

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Saving for a new home is no longer a top financial priority for Britain’s renters, research shows.

Some 82% of non-owners are prioritising at least one other goal, such as raising a family, paying off education debt or travelling, over saving to get on the property ladder, according to the survey by ING International.

Eight in ten people agreed it was increasingly difficult for first-time buyers to get a foot on the housing ladder, yet 71% said it was better to own than to rent from a financial perspective.

In fact, the majority of renters would still like to own a home at some point, with just 8% saying they never want to.

But 80% of non-owners said high prices were stopping them from meeting their goal.

Of those who rent and have never owned, 39% don’t expect to be able to buy. Those who do accept this will likely happen later in life.

A quarter of 25-34-year olds anticipate having to wait until they are older than 35 before buying and just 9% of non-owners expect to buy before the age of 30.

Jessica Exton, a behavioural scientist at ING, said: “Lots of us want to own our own home one day. Not only because it’s considered to be a smart financial decision, but because home ownership is an emotional and personal goal. But houses are expensive, and many perceive them as only becoming more so.

“Some are consequently taking longer to save their deposit and buying later in life. Given these extended timeframes, it’s not necessarily surprising that many are finding additional reasons to spend and save in the shorter term. Funding travel today, while planning to buy a home soon, for example.”

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