Young taking desperate measures to buy a home

House and piggy bank

Young homeowners are taking desperate measures to buy their first home, according to a new survey.

Almost three-quarters of homeowners aged between 25 and 34 are saddling themselves with more long-term debt to get on the property ladder, figures from HomeOwners Alliance and myhomemove have revealed.  

Finance options include longer-term mortgages of more than 25 years, money from their parents, low-interest mortgages, small deposits, government schemes such as Help to Buy and in some cases interest-only mortgages.

Some 28% of younger homeowners have extended their mortgages to more than 25 years - compared with 17% of homeowners overall - while a quarter rely on borrowing money from family and friends (versus 11% of homeowners overall).

One in 10 have used government or shared ownership schemes such as Help to Buy, compared to only 4% of all homeowners.

Half of those aged between 25 and 34 who have relied on these finance options are worried about their housing debt.

Almost a quarter admit to worrying about the size of their mortgage and whether they will be able to repay it one day, while one in five are concerned about negative equity and their monthly mortgage payments over the long term.

Interest rate rises are a particular worry to younger homeowners, with 49% saying they fear a rise in interest rates will make it harder to afford loan and debt payments.

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Desperate measures

Paula Higgins, chief executive of the HomeOwners Alliance, said: "As house prices rise and homeownership levels drop, young people are left with no choice but to resort to desperate measures to realise their dream of owning their own home.

"This goes to show how the housing crisis is giving young people a raw deal. Schemes to help make homes more affordable in the short term do little to solve the fact that we need many more new homes, in the right places and at the right price."

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