Home ownership issues
This content applies to England only.
House prices have soared over the past decade, well beyond the reach of many people. If wages had gone up at the same rate as house prices, across England the average salary would be £29,000 higher!
This gap between wages and house prices makes it harder and harder for first-time buyers to get on the ladder in the first place. Huge numbers of young people are now finding themselves priced out of home ownership altogether, forced into a life of private renting.
Even those people who have managed to get onto the ladder are not safe from housing problems. As house prices soared over the last decade, so too did the number of borrowers who took out risky mortgage loans in order to buy a home. As the economy crashed, many of these homeowners found themselves in real trouble [Link to new page: 10 – Issues for homeowners ]. Now that the economy is struggling, many people are finding it harder to meet their monthly repayments, often with dire consequences – 28,900 homes were repossessed across the UK in 2013.
These issues are closely linked. A lack of homes leads to prices rising. In order to buy a home, people have to take out higher, riskier loans. When the banks hand out these risky loans, it pushes the prices up even further – and the cycle continues. Watch our video to see how this vicious circle started:
The government says they want to increase the number of people who own their homes. We believe that to do this, they have to make sure that:
- home ownership is made less risky
- lending is made more affordable
- that homeowners have access to a decent safety net and free, impartial advice
But if we want to end this cycle of bust and boom for good, we need to address the underlying problem: we need to build more affordable homes.
There are two moments where it is extremely important mortgage borrowers get sound independent financial advice: