Business

Property ladder: Your stories

  • 30 August 2011
  • From the section Business
Potential homebuyers looking in to estate agent
Image caption Further falls in home ownership rates and higher rents have been predicted

The National Housing Federation (NHF) is warning that the housing market will be plunged into "crisis" without government action to address the "chronic under-supply of homes".

The NHF said it risked locking an entire generation out of the housing market.

The level of house prices, the need for larger deposits and stricter lending criteria set by banks, had combined to cut first-time buyers out of the market, the National Housing Federation said.

It predicted further falls in home ownership rates and even higher rents.

BBC News website readers have been getting in touch with their experiences of trying to get on to the property ladder.

Poppy Coleman, Hawkinge, Kent

My husband and I have been married for almost two years and have been privately renting for three.

Our rent has just been increased by £15 a month to £590 for a mid-terraced two bedroom house.

We would dearly love to own our own house so that we can paint it the colour we want, put up shelves, put in a power shower or modern kitchen, but it is impossible to put money aside to save for a deposit. Especially now we would need at least 22%!

We could move back in with parents and save for a year or so, but we decided that this is not practical as my husband works permanent night shifts.

We even recently sold a car and are surviving with one to try and save money.

With the rising cost of food and fuel, living is becoming slightly more difficult each month!

We have looked at a new government housing scheme where the deposit is paid, but we would still need to find at least £5,000 for fees, surveys etc. Plus new build homes are often put up with spit and sawdust these days and are tiny, not what we want!

I think we are going to stay put for a little longer then upgrade to slightly more modern house - it will cost more to rent but we would prefer to pay more to live in a nice house - one that we would not be able to afford to buy even if we tried.

I think landlords will soon clock on and I can see rent prices going up even more.

Fiona Fraser, Crieff, Perthshire

I am a 23-year-old care worker for the elderly, I live with my partner who is a precision engineer, our two children and my brother Calum, a 19-year-old soldier currently serving in Afghanistan. We all live in a two bedroom council house.

I have looked into buying a house but I cannot afford to put down a deposit.

I am on the council house waiting list and have been since 2007/2008 and there is still no hope of me getting a three bedroom house.

When my brother comes home from Afghanistan he has to sleep on the sofa as he doesn't have his own room.

I personally think anyone who is working or has worked in the last five years should be entitled to get a mortgage without putting down such a large deposit, this would make it possible for younger families to buy a property.

I am expecting a call from a mortgage advisor on Tuesday to see whether there is any way that we can get a mortgage, but the deposits are so high I don't think that we can afford it.

At the moment my partner and I are both working two jobs each and we still can't afford it.

Grant Bemrose, West Molesey

I am married with four children and we would love to get a property of our own to make it our home but there is no way that we can save for a deposit.

We are seen as not being suitable for a mortgage despite paying over £1,000 per month in private rent for a three bedroom bungalow.

A mortgage for us would probably cost us less per month, and make it easier to pay off other bills.

But we have had to disregard ever having a home of our own because we just can't save due to high rental costs - there is no spare cash.

I have a family of six to support and we would like the opportunity to develop a property to make it suitable for us.

I know it doesn't sound nice but the only way we will be able to get on the property ladder is if we inherit.

Richard Satchwell, Birmingham

My partner and I were very lucky. This year my partner's dad agreed to lend us the deposit for a property, and we were able to get an 85% LTV (15% deposit) mortgage and make the step onto the property ladder.

If it wasn't for his generosity then we would not have had any opportunity to buy in the future, and we are both approaching 30.

However, even then it was a hard time getting a mortgage agreement as the providers did not want to see the money as a loan, but had to be signed to say that it was a non-refundable gift.

The plan is to return the deposit value when we have sufficient equity in the property.

One of the problems I have seen for young people getting onto the ladder is the lack of money flowing from older generations of a family to the younger.

In the past, elderly relatives would pass on and provide inheritance money to junior members of the family.

However, better quality of life means the older generation are living longer and inheritance money is not there until a lot later in life.

Opportunities to save are also rare due to high living costs etc.

If we did not have this family loan, we would still be renting with no chance of buying a house.

I have heard of a government scheme to help first time buyers with loans for deposits for new homes. This seems like a good idea but it also means that you are not only in debt with the government but also with a mortgage.

I think it is important to have a physical asset, renting is dead money, it feels like you are wasting your money paying someone else's mortgage.

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