Getting on the property ladder can be tricky, particularly when you're trying to save while covering all the other costs associated with modern living. To that end, a new study by Tiles Direct has taken a closer look at the issues affecting wannabe buyers, and the key barriers they encounter as they struggle to take that first step.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the single greatest barrier to first-time buyers saving for a deposit is rental prices, with 38% of respondents believing that rent is too high to save for a deposit on a house. This figure rises to over half of 25-34 year-olds, perhaps highlighting the extra pressure the younger generation is feeling.
Next up is the general cost of living, which can often be extortionate in its own right. Indeed, 21% of respondents declared this as the biggest barrier, an issue arguably heightened by the lack of well-paid job prospects, an issue that 18% felt was the biggest hurdle on the path to homeownership.
The barriers many would-be homeowners are presented with are arguably only going to get worse, what with UK house prices continuing to vastly outstrip average salaries, and price rises being well above typical salary increases, too. As a result, Campbell Robb, of homeless charity Shelter, believes that "Generation Rent will be forced to resign themselves to a life in expensive, unstable private renting".
However, some people believe that poor money management is the root cause, with older respondents more likely to place the blame on renters themselves. For example, 6% blamed the irresponsible spending habits of first-time buyers on their downfall, while 9% thought that they had a lack of motivation to save, a figure that rises to 18% among 55-64 year-old respondents.
However, a lack of savings incentive may not be that surprising thanks to ever-falling rates, and in fact, 6% of respondents felt that the poor interest rates on offer were also to blame for many people's inability to save a deposit.
So just what's stopping you? Chances are, it's a combination of factors: the high cost of living and often extortionate rental prices mean it's difficult to ensure there's money left over at the end of the month, and any spare cash you do manage to scrape together could well be languishing in poor-paying savings accounts – and if you're not seeing your savings balance creep up, you may lose all motivation and get a bit reckless with your spending.
It can be a vicious circle, but there are ways to get back on track – and that's by setting goals and sticking to them. You could even reward yourself, with every £500 saved (for example) meriting a cost-effective treat, such as a takeaway or budget-conscious meal out, and if you make sure to avoid temptation at all other times, you could soon notice the difference.
Start being strict and avoid the weekly night out, daily coffee or Saturday Domino's, and instead siphon that money into a dedicated savings account. Of course, you'll want to have a decent savings rate if you're really going to stay motivated, and that's where checking out our savings best buys – or even interest paying current accounts – could come in.
Once you're getting serious the barriers will hopefully begin to diminish, and then all you've got to do is find your ideal first home!
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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