First-time buyers are facing the toughest housing conditions, here’s how to help

Neal Hudson, from the Building Societies Association (BSA), has completed new research offering potential policy solutions that can help ease pressures faced by first-time buyers.  

Within the new report, which was published this morning, Neal Hudson suggests home ownership among younger people has been in decline for the past 20 years and it is showing no signs of improvement.

woman sitting on floor and leaning on couch using laptop

‘Becoming a first-time buyer is possibly the most expensive it has been over at least the last 70 years, but a properly functioning housing market is dependent on first-time buyers being able to afford their first home,’ Hudson said. ‘New thinking and radical changes are needed.’

In the report, which can be found in full here, Hudson offers various solutions that could improve the property market, from financial support to bridging the gap between ageist stereotypes. However, Hudson claims that no change will be made unless the government initiates the first move.  

In the report, Hudson said: ‘[The] government should commission an independent review of the first-time buyer market, regulation and government intervention, which would deliver a clear starting point for action. The objective should be to increase the number of true non-returner first-time buyers, both now and in the future.’

Against this backdrop, the research highlights a series of suggestions that the government could do to improve the market. These include:

  • Prioritising improving the supply of both existing and new homes including increased delivery of affordable homes
  • Revising the planning system with more of a focus on strategic planning and less focus on development control
  • Reform property taxation to increase market liquidity and encourage more efficient use of existing homes
  • Ensuring Stamp Duty Tax continues to favour first-time buyers above anyone else

 Arguably, the publication of this research couldn’t have come at a better time. The statistics found add to an already sky-high stack, showcasing that without proper addressal, the problem will continue to accelerate.

The report found that currently, buying a home requires two above-average incomes, which mirrors recent figures that have been published by the property portal Rightmove. The organisation found that a lot of the activity in the housing market since the beginning of 2024 was among large, four-bedroom properties.

These types of homes will be out of reach for majority of first-time buyers, but Rightmove said asking prices were staring to increase again.

In addition, the Resolution Foundation think tank has also published data recently which remarked that the most common living arrangement for an adult aged between 18 and 34 in 1997 was being in a couple with children, but now it was living with your parents.

Although, findings from the latest Census research highlighted that young people would even find it difficult to go into a rented property whilst saving up to buy their own home, as private rental costs in the UK have risen by a shocking 9.2% within the last year.

Image: Thought Catalog

More on this topic: 

Teamwork: First-time buyers group together to buy properties

First Homes funding to help first-time buyers in Perry Barr


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