UKís First-Time Buyer Market Second Worse in Europe, Study Shows

According to the ING International Survey of Homes and Mortgages, 89% of people in the UK agree that the property market it is getting steadily more and more difficult for first-time buyers to get on the property ladder.

Average house prices in the UK were shown to have gone up by about 8% between the end of last year and the beginning of this year ñ a whole eight times higher than the average increase of 1% seen across the rest of Europe.
Indeed the only country where the portion of people agreeing that the market is worsening was higher was in Luxembourg, where a staggering 94% of people expressed concern. The general consensus across Europe wasnít much better though, with 79% of those surveyed across the continent claiming that the housing market is becoming steadily less accessible to potential first time homeowners.

It seems that discontent with the property market is ubiquitous throughout the continent; even in Germany, where citizens were shown to be expressing the least concern out of all the countries surveyed, a whole 59% claimed to be worried about increasing prices.

Bob Panell, of the Council of Mortgage Lenders expressed his concern with the housing market in general, and claimed that attempts to fix it by simply building more houses are short sighted and simplistic. He claimed that, among other things, what we needed to do to start to improve things in the housing sector was to start by using our existing housing more efficiently.

The steadily increasing number of people living on their own, as well as an ageing population, were things that Mr Panell claimed contributed to the increasing demand and decreasing supply of homes in the UK.

The big problem is the speed with which average house prices are outstripping average wages in the UK. Currently,
estimates from Which? show that an average salary of around £38,000 would be required to get a mortgage with an LTV ratio of 83 on the average priced house here. Given that the average salary for a 20-25 year old is currently only around £16,500, the disparity and need for some kind of positive action is clear.

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