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First-time Buyer

Owning a property is still a pipe dream for many over 55s

Paloma Kubiak
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Paloma Kubiak

Four out of five over 55s who currently rent their property say it is unlikely they will ever own a home.

Nearly a quarter of over 55s still rent the property they live in and 10% aspire to own their own home one day.

However, 81% said they don’t think they will ever realise this dream and half said they just don’t feel ready to buy.

Younger generations are more optimistic on homeownership with Fidelity International’s Modern Life Report revealing 65% of millennials believe they will get on the property ladder one day.

But this figure drops to 23% for those aged between 35 and 54.

Finances are the biggest obstacle to buying, which is perhaps unsurprising given that house prices have risen 4.3% every year over the past decade, according to the Halifax House Price Index.

As such, there has also been a rise in young adults living at home with their parents, pushing up the age of the average first-time buyer from 31 to 33 over the past decade.

More than a third (34%) of adults aged 18-34 live at home with their parents and according to figures from the Office for National Statistics, 3.4 million 20-34-year-olds live with their parents. Each adult child costs the household an additional £1,780 a year .

Tom Stevenson, investment director for personal investing at Fidelity International, said: “Homeownership is deeply engrained in the British psyche and the inability to get on the property ladder can be hard to accept. Renting can feel like throwing money away and the flexibility it offers is no substitute for the feeling of security that owning a flat or house can provide.

“Our relationship with work is changing. The old idea of a fairly even split between childhood/education, work and retirement no longer reflects how we are living our lives. Sometimes the new reality is forced on people by redundancy or illness. But, for a growing number, a more flexible approach to work is a positive choice. We have never faced such rich choices about how, where and when to earn a living.”