Over Six Million Brits Give Up on the Mortage Game

By Moneysupermarket.com, PRNE
Thursday, May 19, 2011

House Hunters Estimate They'll Buy Their First Home at 38 Years Old

CHESTER, England, May 20, 2011 - With UK market conditions continuing to make it difficult for
would-be home owners to get on the ladder, the average age Brits expect to be
able to buy their first property is now 38 years old, according research*
from moneysupermarket.com (www.moneysupermarket.com/mortgages/), the
UK's number one comparison site.

Individuals who currently do not own property were asked at
what age they expected to be able to buy and how they planned to pay for the
deposit on their new home. A whopping 31 per cent, some six million Brits**,
claimed they do not intend to buy a property at all.

The number of mortgage products available to first time buyers
currently stands at just 1,581, a fraction of the 14,940 available in
pre-crunch Britain in July 2007. Over the last year, the number of first time
buyer products available has risen by almost 200***, offering some hope for
those trying to break into the housing market. There has also been a 47 per
cent increase in the number of mortgages available up to 90 per cent Loan to
Value (LTV), and the average interest rate has dropped by 2.43 per cent since
July 2007, bringing more welcome news for first time buyers; however these
changes don't tell the whole story. The average LTV for products available to
new buyers is 77 per cent, meaning someone taking out a mortgage on a
GBP150,000 property would need a deposit of GBP34,500 - well beyond the means
of most first time buyers.

Clare Francis, mortgage spokesperson at moneysupermarket.com
(www.moneysupermarket.com/mortgages/) said: "The housing market has
been hugely affected by the credit crunch and economic downturn, and first
time buyers have been hit the hardest. It's easy to see why nearly a third of
non home owners do not intend to step foot on the property ladder. House
prices may have fallen in many areas but they are still high. This coupled
with the need for such a high cash deposit is pushing many people out of the
market. There is still limited choice if you have a deposit of less than 10
per cent, and the rates on these mortgages are around 5.30 per cent, which is
significantly higher than the most competitive rates. This also means that
the monthly repayments first time buyers face are often higher than for those
who have larger deposits to put down.. "

"For anyone wanting to get on the ladder, who is renting or
living with parents, it's important to think about how they can make cutbacks
to help them build up a deposit more quickly."

Saving for a deposit

A substantial 19 per cent of those not currently on the ladder
plan to rent until they have saved enough for a deposit. The number of people
stuck renting until they can afford to buy is highest in the West Midlands,
with one in four (25%) playing the waiting game, compared to just six per
cent in Northern Ireland. Due to hugely inflated house prices in the capital,
Londoners are the least confident about their purchasing power, with the
average age they expect to be able their buy their first home standing at a
staggering 43 years old.

When it comes to paying for a deposit, five per cent of those
waiting to buy currently have enough money saved, whilst six per cent are
hoping that house prices will drop further, lessening the amount they need to
save. Shockingly, more respondents planned to play the lottery to pay for a
deposit (5%) rather than asking for help from family and friends (4%).

Clare Francis continued: "The fact some people are playing the
lottery rather than turning to friends and family for help illustrates how
squeezed the nation's finances are at the moment. According to Halifax,
average property prices fell by 1.4 per cent in April 2011, so in a lot of
ways it should be a great environment for first time buyers. But the
difficulty many are having saving for a deposit coupled with the ongoing
shortage of competitively priced mortgages for those with small deposits
means the market remains extremely tough. However, on the plus side, there is
no rush to buy as the housing market looks set to remain subdued for the
foreseeable future. Therefore aspiring homeowners can take their time to save
that all important deposit without the fear that house prices are going to
soar out of reach.

In order to do that, would-be first time buyers should take
the opportunity to seek out the highest paying savings account and look to
get into the habit of putting money away regularly. It's also worth looking
at ways to free up more cash such as using discount vouchers and making sure
there are no unnecessary costs being incurred. That way, they'll have more to
save and will be able to afford their first home sooner."

Notes to editors:

* Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 2,004UK
adults aged 18+ from1st April to 4th April 2011. Results have been weighted
to nationally representative criteria.

** Based on a UK adult population of 49,121,000. 254 out 2004
respondents (12.7) did not intend to buy property. 12.7% of 49,121,000 =

*** Number of first time buyer products available in March
was 1,417 versus 1,581 in May 20011, a rise of 164.

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