Millions have given up hope of buying a home locally

Britain’s shortage of affordable housing is pushing homeownership further out of reach, suggest new figures from Shelter.

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The Independent Online

A YouGov poll for the housing charity shows that 59 per cent of British adults who do not own their own home believe they will never be able to afford to buy in their local area. This figure has risen from 50 per cent since the last time Shelter ran this survey in 2009.

Shelter analysis shows that someone saving £200 a month would need to save for nearly 16 years to have enough for the average deposit. However, the charity’s latest poll reveals just one in five of 25-34 year olds who do not own their own homes are managing to save this amount.

“Despite doing the right thing by working hard and saving up, young people, many of them young families, are still finding it impossible to get on the housing ladder," said Shelter’s director of policy and campaigns, Kay Boycott. "Instead they’re stuck renting from a landlord, facing sky-high rents that make saving for a deposit incredibly difficult.

“We’re hearing from more and more people in their late 20s and even into their late 30s who have decided their only hope is to move back in with their parents. We have to ask whether it’s acceptable that this has become the only way young people can get a home and get on in life. A whole generation is being held back because of this country’s shortage of affordable homes.”

The YouGov poll also showed that people are increasingly concerned about their children’s housing prospects, with 44 per cent of British adults believing their children or future children will be unable to afford a decent home, up from 38 per cent in 2009.

“This issue not only affects today’s young people, but the next generation as well," added Boycott. "The default answer from successive governments has been to announce more schemes to help first time buyers, but often these only help a limited number of people and simply aren’t on the scale needed to stem this crisis. We need a comprehensive scheme to help young people, coupled with radical action to build significant numbers of good quality, affordable homes if we’re going to stop tomorrow’s generation from being consigned to the property scrapheap.”