Giving up hope

Over half of all would be first time buyers believe that they will never be able to afford their own home. Half of all prospective home owners surveyed by the Post Office said that, in order to be able to afford their own place, they would need either a bigger salary or to receive a lump sum from relatives.

In the sixties, the average age of a first-time buyer was 23, now it is 35. The Post Office blames rising house prices and massive deposits needed to secure a place.

A study by the Post Office found that region by region, those who already live in London and are looking to get a foothold on the property ladder are worse hit. 43 percent of people living in the capital say that unless their financial circumstances change they will not be able to afford anywhere. This compares with a 37 percent national average.

Mortgage broker David Hollingworth has this advice. He said: 'The key issue for any first time buyer is the size of deposit that they can manage to pull together. The bigger the deposit the more options they will have and the cheaper the interest rates will be.

'Mortgage options for those with only a 5 percent deposit can be pretty much counted on the fingers of one hand and although there’s been slow but steady improvement for those with 10 percent to put down, the market remains restricted.'

'At the other extreme if you have a 40 percent deposit, ING Direct offers a two year fixed rate of just 2.49 percent,' he added.

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