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Couples unable to afford family homes

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by Jan Harris
Couples unable to afford family homes

The state of the housing market is causing many couples to put off having children according to housing charity Shelter.

A YouGov survey commissioned by the charity found that 20 per cent of childless couples between the ages of 31 and 44 are putting off starting a family because of high housing costs.

Many couples are unable to afford to move to a home large enough to bring up children and people in rented accommodation are put off by the lack of security.

The number of people in this age group who are delaying starting a family because of housing issues has increased by 63 per cent since a similar survey was carried out in 2009, and now stands at over one million.

Lenders have tightened up their lending criteria in recent years and are demanding high deposits on home loans.

This has led to an increase in the average age of first time buyers, with one in three first-time buyers now aged over 35.

In June the British Bankers Association reported a fall in mortgage approvals to an all-time low.

Meanwhile, high demand for rented accommodation has pushed rents to a record high of £725 a month according to lettings network LSL Property Services.

Kay Boycott, Director of Communications, Policy and Campaigns at Shelter, said: “It’s heartbreaking that so many people are being forced to put their lives on hold in this way.

“The Government has a responsibility to act now to ensure that today’s young people and the generation after them aren’t denied something as basic as a proper home to raise their children in.”

Housing costs are also causing mothers to be concerned over their children’s future according to a report commissioned by the High Pay Centre, an independent think-tank.

Around 80 per cent of mothers are pessimistic over the future for their children because of high house prices, tuition fees and a fall in the value of pensions.

Many mothers worry that their children will be forced to live in rented accommodation all their lives because they will be unable to afford to buy a home of their own.

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News posted: August 29, 2012

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