More than 17 million unable to buy homes

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The Independent Online

More than 17 million people in the UK are unable to get on the property ladder, according to research released today.

Abbey estimates that of the 17.3 million people who feel excluded from the housing market, 7.4 million blame high prices. Not being able to afford property in their area topped the list of reasons preventing would-be homeowners from buying, followed by the size of deposit needed.

A fear of commitment came next, with an estimated 5.6 million not ready to tie themselves down, while more than three million were waiting for house prices to fall before they bought property, the report suggests.

Other reasons for not buying included job insecurity and a lack of time, Abbey said. An estimated two million people said that they could not not find the right mortgage.

Nici Audham Gardiner, a mortgage product executive at Abbey, said: "There are people who feel that they do not want to get on the property ladder, but those who do face many barriers."

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