Report: the flyers and the triers

By: Adam van Lohuizen and Rachael Emmett  Published: March 2015

Every day at Shelter, we see the financial, social and emotional strain of our desperate shortage of affordable homes. From people struggling to make ends meet, to those whose hopes for a home of their own are thwarted, people’s choice is being restricted by our lack of homes. Buying a home is an aspiration for many people in England because of the long-term security they perceive in it. However, this dream is becoming increasingly out of reach for many, particularly when compared to previous generations. This has created a divide between those who have been able to buy a home of their own at an early stage, compared to those who have to struggle for longer.


This research aimed to give us a stronger understanding of the causes of this divide, and how it impacts people's lives. Firstly, we used financial modelling to predict the lifetime economic effects of being able to buy early, compared with later or never. Secondly, we interviewed people across England to understand their different experiences in depth.

The report identifies two groups based on the amount of choice they had about becoming home owners:

  • The 'Flyers' have made minimal sacrifices to buy a home, having received substantial help from family; and,
  • The 'Triers' have, on the other hand, struggled for longer to buy a home (if they got there at all) and have had to rely more on their own efforts.

These two groups reveal financial, social and psychological differences between them that occur throughout their lifetimes.


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