Nearly half of uk adults support calls for older homeowners to downsize in attempt to help generation rent
New Equifax research illustrates current concerns about access to affordable properties
The latest YouGov research* commissioned by Equifax, the credit information provider, highlights just how far people think the UK property market will need to go in order for the younger generation to get a foot on the ladder. Nearly half (46%) of respondents to the survey said that they would support a government incentive to encourage older homeowners to downsize their properties to free up space for younger buyers.
The research comes in light of the recent government whitepaper** which outlines how older people could be encouraged to downsize their property to help ease the desperate shortage of housing. This would involve steps like building more sheltered accommodation in order to make it easier for the older generation to move from their homes.
Equifax found that more people would be in favour of these initiatives (46%) compared to those who would be against it (40%.) The younger generation, aged 18-24, were most in favour of the initiative, with 65% saying they would support the scheme.
Lisa Hardstaff, credit information expert at Equifax, comments: "This latest research has provided a strong insight into the current feelings of people at different stages of the home ownership ladder. It is perhaps not surprising that the younger people who responded to the survey have said that they would support an initiative which meant that more homes would be free for them.
"This insight is particularly interesting when looking at reports*** which show that a typical ‘last time buyer’ lives in a four-bed house but wants a two-bed property, and that almost a third of older homeowners have considered downsizing in the last five years but only 7% actually did."
The Equifax research also found that over two thirds of Brits (68%) are either very or fairly concerned that the younger generation is finding it increasingly difficult to get into homeownership.
"Whether it is downsizing your home or taking your first step onto the property ladder, you need to understand the role that credit information plays in the mortgage application process," continues Lisa Hardstaff. "Lenders have a duty to assess the long-term affordability of an applicant to make sure they can afford the monthly repayments both now and in the future. We would therefore suggest that anyone considering applying for a mortgage should check their credit report at least six months before submitting their application. This will enable them to ensure that any changes that might need to be made are done before a mortgage application begins."
Home buyers can get a copy of their Equifax Credit Report, which is accessible for 30 days for free, simply by logging onto www.equifax.co.uk/Products/credit/credit-report. If customers do not cancel before the end of the 30-day free trial, the service will continue at £9.95 per month, giving them unlimited online access to their credit information and weekly alerts on any changes to their credit file. It also includes an online dispute facility to help them correct any errors on their credit file simply and quickly.
* All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2050 adults. Fieldwork
was undertaken between 23rd - 24th February 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have
weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
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