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Two in five Brits can't afford to buy a house in their hometown

Abigail Fenton
Photo: Maximillian Conacher/Unsplash
Young people are the least confident that they’ll be able to buy somewhere in their childhood city. Photo: Maximillian Conacher/Unsplash

Nearly two in five (37%) Brits say it is unlikely they will ever be able to afford to buy a place in their hometown, according to new research.

A survey of 2,000 UK adults was conducted by regulated property buyer Good Move after Robert Jenrick, the housing secretary, announced plans to give first-time buyers a 20% discount if they purchase property in the area where they grew up.

Good Move’s research suggests that such an initiative is “much needed.”

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The average age of a first-time buyer in the UK is 30, meaning most people will be saving for a house in their twenties. However, young people are the least confident that they’ll be able to buy somewhere in their childhood city, with 44% of 18- to 24-year-olds believing that their local house prices are too expensive.

The issue is more prominent in some UK cities than in others. The people of Cardiff are the most pessimistic about their chances of buying property in their area. Over half (51%) of people who grew up in the Welsh capital think that local houses are out of their financial reach.

In contrast, Brits born in Sheffield and Bristol feel that they have the best chance of buying in their city, with just 26% and 28% respectively believing it won’t be possible.

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Surprisingly, Londoners feel fairly confident that they will be able to afford their infamously-high house prices. More than three in five (62%) people born in the capital think that it’s likely that they will be able to buy somewhere in their area.

The 10 cities where people are most unlikely to be able to afford to buy property in their childhood area are:

  1. Cardiff (51%)

  2. Norwich (43%)

  3. Belfast (41%)

  4. Nottingham (40%)

  5. Manchester (38%)

  6. Southampton (38%)

  7. London (38%)

  8. Liverpool (37%)

  9. Leeds (34%)

  10. Newcastle (34%)

Brits said would like to live about 21 miles away from their parents, but the younger generations are less bothered about being nearby. The age group most keen to keep distance from their family is 25 to 34-year-olds, whose optimum distance is 24 miles.

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Brits are less interested in living near their in-laws, with the average desired distance being 36 miles. Interestingly, while women like to live closer to their parents than men do, the reverse is true for in-laws.

Ross Counsell, director at Good Move, said: “While a little bit of distance from family can be healthy, the majority of people would probably want to live in the same area and unfortunately house prices often prevent this from happening.

“A lot of Brits will feel attached to the place where they grew up so it’s a real shame that many are getting priced out of living there.”