For many, home ownership epitomises the ‘British Dream’. However, for today’s aspiring property owners, the idea of climbing onto the ladder remains just that – a dream.
The contemporary first-time buyer is confronted by a housing market which no longer works for them. House price growth has become decoupled from incomes, and this has funnelled many into an increasingly unstable and expensive rental market.
We want to change this, but we can’t put an end to ‘Generation Rent’ alone. We hosted a roundtable discussion on “Tackling the Housing Crisis” on 19th September 2019, at the glorious Grand Committee Room, Palace of Westminster. We were joined by representatives from the Greater London Authority, Parliament and Government, social media influencers, social action groups, housing associations, mortgage advisers and solicitors.
The purpose was to bring policy makers and industry experts together to discuss issues with the housing market, delving into their own experiences as well as learning about the shortfalls from others. StepLadder’s aim has always been to keep the issues faced by first time buyers at the forefront of everything we do, so our goal was to develop tactical and operational changes to policy to help people get onto the housing ladder and proudly own their first home.
It has possibly never been harder to get on the property ladder. Escalating house prices, stagnant wages and more stringent rules regarding the approval of mortgages has priced out an entire generation in and outside of the UK. It is not surprising that there is an increase in ‘generation rent’, a growing number of people living at home or struggling to pay expensive rent whilst saving to get a place of their own. Tackling monthly rental prices as well as trying to put away money to save for a deposit means that people are taking a long time, 40 times as long according to Government statistics, to build their initial deposit.
Attendees had the chance to have a robust discussion about the difficulties of entering the housing market as a first time buyer. There were innovative solutions such as using open banking technology to track actual spend in real time, and for lenders to use that to make their forecasts as opposed to based on assumptions as is currently being done. Education played a big part in the discussion, teaching young people about the virtues of building a strong credit score and the consequences of the effect of late payments have on one's borrowing capacity.
This event is just the beginning of our collaborative movement which is going to make a difference to so many lives up and down our country. We are passionate about home ownership and that everyone should have the right and the ability to own their home.
Helping first time buyers reach their home ownership dream faster.