With house prices where they are now relative to wages, there is a continuing move in the property world towards what we call “Selfish Singles”. Perhaps this is a bit of an unfair term, but what we really mean is people who aren't married with kids (the more traditional types) but single people, or people who are buying homes with other people (that aren't family or couples).
Actually, home ownership rates, particularly for those in their late twenties are not where they used to be. Now only 33% of this group own their own home. When compared to renting a property, the decision to buy, even if it is with a group of colleagues or people in similar circumstances, stacks up pretty well financially.
According to a survey from Which?, nearly a fifth of first-time buyers have sold possessions in order to increase their deposit fund. 37% said they worked overtime to help out, and 22% were saving on rent by moving back in with their parents. These are just a few of the ways that the “Selfish Singles” are getting their way onto the property ladder.
In January, the number of first-time buyers was up by 16% on December, with first-timers responsible for 2 in 5 mortgages taken out. This is a good sign, but realistically, the government need to do more do drive up home ownership figures.
The reduction in Stamp Duty is a step in the right direction, but in London some are still going to end up paying Stamp Duty on their first home due to where the threshold is set. It would be worth taking first-timers out of Stamp Duty altogether to increase home ownership rates.
As a country, a pension crisis is looming and will only be worse with low home-ownership rates. What happens for the individual at pensionable age who has to pay rent? Help to buy, reduction in Stamp Duty are one side of the equation, whilst “Selfish Singles” who are thinking outside of the box and making sacrifices to get a big enough deposit are on the other.