Struggling to get on the Property Ladder

Like many people, I’m getting more and more distressed about my chances of getting onto the property ladder. To give those reading this outside of the UK a bit of perspective, average house prices in the UK are now around £180,000, at the time of writing that’s $330,000 USD or $435,000 AUD. I’m a little bit luckier in that I live a town where the average is a just £130,000, but the National Housing Association reports (opens PDF document) that since 1997 house prices have risen by 125%, whereas average earnings rose by just 18%.

I’m sure I’m not alone in the somewhat selfish hope that the property market will collapse – however, we are seeing more and more reports saying that the housing market is slowing down, that house price rises are cooling, yet this still does not seem to make owning a house on a salary such as mine any more likely. Even those with two incomes to rely on are finding it difficult.

The government will this week announce plans to start a new scheme of shared home ownership. In the plan, the buyer would have to raise as little as half the cost of home, the rest of the property being owned by either the government or banks. The scheme has already been used to help key-workers (such as doctors and teachers) get affordable housing, and it sounds like it could be a useful development in getting people onto the property ladder, but it will still leave new buyers well behind the rest of the home-owning population when they come to move up the property ladder.

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