The affordability crisis for the over-50s

Posted: 03 Jul 2006 10:34:23 GMT

            Property News - The affordability crisis for the over-50s

New research suggests that nearly a quarter of those in their 50s cannot afford to purchase a home.

While the affordability difficulties for young first-time buyers are well documented, the complaints of older buyers often go unnoticed and the new research from Alliance & Leicester seeks to redress the balance.

Around 22 per cent of Britons in their 50s are still renting properties while a minority are still living with their parents, despite the fact that 41 per cent desperately want to buy a place of their own.

These babyboomers are seemingly finding it much tougher this year than last year as house prices continue to rise, while the biggest financial strains are unsurprisingly evident in the south-east of the country.

Indeed, it appears that the age of the average first-time buyer is continuing to rise, with recent reports suggesting that waiting until the age of 34 is now a feasible expectation for most.

Stephen Leonard, director of mortgages at Alliance & Leicester, said: "Our research reveals that the affordability issue is more widespread than you'd expect and not just something that affects Britain's youngsters. Although those in their 20s and 30s are most affected by this problem, an increasing number of those over 50 are also finding it hard to afford a house."

As more and more people choose to buy and sell properties privately online, however, there is no doubt that some of these affordability grievances are being eased, as property transactions are completed without the associated fees for estate agents.

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