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UCB study into young people’s attitudes reveals desire to move abroad

Amanda Jarvis

January 11, 2006

The research was part of a wide-ranging study into young people’s attitudes towards the housing market. Conducted in face-to-face interviews among over 1,000 16-21 year-olds, it shows that:
– 92% of respondents would prefer to own the property they live in when they are older, rather than rent. However, this figure was significantly lower in Yorkshire.

89% think that they will actually own their own property at some point. Those in education were more likely to think they would own their own home, compared to those in employment (91% vs 87%). The proportion of respondents who thought they would eventually own their own home also varied considerably by region.
– 32% would prefer to live abroad rather than in the UK (33% of boys and 31% of girls). However, young people from Yorkshire and the North East were significantly less likely to want to move abroad.

66% believe they will be between the ages of 25 and 30 when they make their first property purchase, with the average age being 27.
– 48% of those who think they will buy a property think it will cost up to £150,000, whilst 43% think it will be between £150,000 and £300,000, and 5% believe it will cost £301,000 to £500,000.
– 24% said they would like to live in a mansion in its own grounds, but only 3% think they will ever be able to afford this.

“Whilst 92% of the young people interviewed want to own their own home when they are older, it is likely that some of them will never actually make it,” said UCB Home Loans managing director, Keith Astill. “Statistics currently show that approximately 70% of the UK population own their own homes.

“The age at which people make their first purchase of a property has also been rising over recent years, and a large proportion of those who are hoping to buy their first property by the age of 27 will not be in a position to do so,” he said. “Latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show that the average age of a first-time buyer is now 34.”

With regard to the actual cost of their first purchase, Keith Astill predicts that many of those questioned will actually end up paying significantly more than they expect when they eventually enter the property market.

Almost half of those questioned think their first purchase will cost under £150,000,” he said. “Nationwide’s December housing review shows that the average UK house price currently stands at £157,250 and the average price for first-time buyers is £128,105. Assuming that the majority of sixteen year-olds will not make their first property purchase for another 15 years or so, by which time prices are likely to have increased significantly, it is likely that many of them will need to pay more than they currently expect. Fifteen years ago, the average UK house price was just £54,313 some £102,937 lower than it is today.”

UCB Home Loans estimates that a reasonable proportion of the 32% who would like to live abroad will actually achieve their dream. Figures from the Office of National Statistics show that 208,000 British people moved abroad in 2004 alone – the latest year for which figures are available.

The research also indicated that young people do not seem particularly keen on becoming a mortgage advisor when they are older – in fact, two-thirds of those interviewed said that they would rather be an estate agent than a mortgage broker. The majority of UCB Home Loans’ business is sourced via mortgage brokers.

On this subject, the research shows that:
– Two thirds of 16-21 year olds would rather be an estate agent than a mortgage broker (67% vs 31%)
– London was the only region in Great Britain in which more youngsters would prefer to be a mortgage broker than an estate agent (54% vs 46%)
– In every other region, estate agency was seen as the preferred option, with the West Midlands showing the greatest difference (22% for mortgage broking against 75% for estate agency)
– Young men were more likely to choose mortgage broking over estate agency than young women (35% vs 28%)

“It has to be admitted that mortgage broking, perhaps unfairly, doesn’t always have a very cool image,” said Keith Astill. “Maybe we need to get the financial services equivalent of Jamie Oliver to act as a role model for the industry.”

The research was conducted as part of a study of housing, family and employment expectations among the 16-21 age group in the UK. Full details of the remaining results will be published by UCB Home Loans at the end of January.


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