New figures from Shelter suggest that ‘Generation rent’ will be locked out of the property market for more than a decade.
Independent research commissioned by the housing charity looked at earnings, house prices, rents, and spending on essentials in local authorities across the country and found that couples who start a family in their twenties could be saving for a deposit for 12 years.
Couples without a child face an average of six and a half years of saving, and almost double that time in London. Indeed Londoners are particularly badly affected as single people face an average of 30 years of saving, while couples with children face 21 years.
Single people face the greatest barriers to home ownership and the report says they could need over 14 years to save enough for a deposit.
In nearly two thirds of areas in England, couples with a child could face over a decade of saving for a deposit for a home of their own. High outgoings and house prices combined with lower incomes mean couples with a child in Devon, Cornwall and Leicester would need longer to save for a deposit than the same couple living in some areas of London.
Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said: "This is the first time research like this has been conducted at a local level to reveal the harsh realities that ‘generation rent’ is having to confront because of our shortage of affordable homes.
"Despite working hard and saving what they can each month, today’s young people face life-changing choices between starting a family or buying a home of their own. Imagine a 28 year old couple weighing up their options - they can save for a home now and put off starting a family until they’re 35, or they can start a family now but accept they’ll be renting until their child is a teenager."
Meanwhile, in a speech this morning, Operations Director Lucy Jones of LSL Property Services told the Council of Mortgage Lenders that by mid-2015, average rents in England and Wales will reach £800 per month, hitting £765 by around this time next year.
“Fundamentally, buying a home is still becoming less affordable, not more," she said. "By the middle of this decade at least one in five people in the UK will be living in privately rented accommodation.
“As before, there will be serious regional variations. Rents in London are already 109 per cent higher than in the North East. Over the next two years, London will see rents rise by 16 per cent. Meanwhile, the East Midlands will see rises of around 8 per cent.”