Not owning a home ‘new normal’ for almost half of Scots

Buying a property is becoming more difficult for many Scots.
Buying a property is becoming more difficult for many Scots.
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Almost half of Scots believe they will never own their own home, new research has found.

A poll for Bank of Scotland found this is the case for 48 per cent of people - with almost a third (31 per cent) stating that never owning a property is now “normal”.

The bank said the survey, carried out by pollsters at YouGov, showed how “attitudes to home ownership are changing”.

More than a third of those polled think they will use the Government’s Help to Buy scheme when purchasing their own home (35 per cent), making it the second most popular source of help for would-be buyers behind purchasing a property with a partner, cited by 41 per cent.

Working extra hours or getting an extra job was how almost three out of 10 (29 per cent) plan to save the necessary cash, with 22 per cent anticipating some help from a family a member.

Amongst those still living with their parents but aiming to buy a home, four-fifths (79 per cent) think this is something they will be able to achieve before their 36th birthday - with 48 per cent saying they were aiming to get on the property ladder between the ages of 26 and 30.

A quarter of parents (25 per cent) say they are happy to help their children with the costs of buying a home, with 6 per cent saying this is something they feel under pressure to do.

Ricky Diggins, network director for the bank, said: “Attitudes towards home ownership are changing, with many people reassessing if and when they will make their first property purchase.

“However, many people still dream of owning their own place, and even though it is arguably harder to buy now than ever before, there is help at hand. Lots of people look to get help from their family, or partners, and are coupling that support with schemes like Help to Buy to help them take that first step on to the property ladder.”

Alison Johnstone, Scottish Green MSP, said it was time for a radical overhaul of the housing market.

“Our housing system is dysfunctional and is failing to provide the genuinely affordable homes that are so desperately needed, particularly by young people.

It’s time to ditch the speculative volume housebuilding model and replace it with public-led development and master-planning to deliver the range of warm and affordable homes we need in the places we need them.”

Shelter Scotland has said young people were increasingly caught between rising property prices and increasingly expensive rents.

Graeme Brown, the charity’s director, said people were “stuck in a very difficult place”, with home ownership “often actually just a dream”.