Almost all young people under 30 want to make buying a home a top priority, and don’t want to settle for long-term renting.
The poll, of 2,465 consumers of all ages, blows wide open the theory that more and more will go the European way and choose to be tenants for lifestyle reasons.
People under 30 are more opposed than any other age group to ‘continental’ models of tenure in which families routinely rent for the duration of their adult lives.
Some 90% of 18 to 29-year-olds would not be happy if they had to live in rented accommodation for the rest of their working lives. A majority (64%) do not want to start a family while they are renting and 43% do not want to get married until they own their own home.
The poll, conducted independently for Barratt Homes, also suggests that tensions between different generations and long-term social problems will result if young people continue to be locked out of home ownership.
The study shows that 86% of under-30s identify home ownership as a key priority in life. For them, this is a more important life goal than job satisfaction (which attracted a 76% vote as a life priority).
According to the findings, almost two-thirds (65%) of people under 30 believe that they cannot afford to buy a home as big as the one which their parents lived in at the same age. This figure rises to 75% in the South-East.
Young adults also increasingly resent the housing wealth acquired by the over-40s. Some 44% of 18 to 29-year-olds describe the housing wealth which the generation over 40 has accumulated because of rising house prices as ‘unfair’.
A large majority across all age groups think the housing crisis will get worse rather than better: 61% agreed with the statement: ‘In 20 years’ time it will be even more difficult for people to get on the housing ladder than it is today.’
The Barratt HomeBuyers’ Panel is the second annual survey by the independent polling firm ComRes.
Mark Clare, chief executive of Barratt Developments, said: “The findings from this nationwide poll illustrate the extent of the housing crisis facing Britain and the depth of the public policy challenges we now have to tackle as a result.
“There is no silver bullet which will solve the problem overnight, but there are steps which can be taken.”
“Without doubt, making mortgage finance more readily available to credit-worthy first-time buyers should be top of the list. It cannot be right that people in their 30s with good jobs and good credit histories are having mortgage applications turned down.
“I am pleased the Government has rightly identified this as an urgent problem and is meeting the banks to assess what can be done.”