Only 12% of UK adults think access to mortgages has improved in the past five years – but not enough.
In similar research commissioned by Precise Mortgages last year, 29% of adults believed that access to mortgages had improved, but not enough, marking a considerable drop of 17% from a year ago. The new findings from Precise Mortgages, are part of the 2015 Mortgage Voice report in conjunction with YouGov.
Despite this, the report witnessed improvement in some of the wider issues facing homeowners. Over the last year UK renters, in general, see saving for a deposit (51%), finding an affordable property (41%), and getting a mortgage approved (33%) less of an barrier to owning their own home than in 2014.
However, 49% of UK adults believe that mortgage rates only favour those with large deposits and 36% feel that mortgages are too difficult to obtain for first time buyers. With 76% of renters aged between 18 and 24, seeing saving enough for a deposit as a barrier to owning their own home, and 67% say finding an affordable property is a barrier. With the average cost of a property now upward of £200,000 and house price inflation set to hit 6% this year, affordability is likely to remain a challenge for first time buyers.
And yet, 41% of those renting aged 18 – 24 still hope to own their own home in the next five years. However, amongst the older demographic the situation differs, with only 14% of renters aged 45 – 54 planning to own a property in the next five years, with the majority (67%) instead, having no aspirations to be a home owner.
“Prospective homebuyers are feeling more positive about their ability to save and find an affordable property, but with consumer sentiment towards mortgage accessibility falling in the last year, the industry has a vital job to do in reassuring prospective homeowners,” said Alan Cleary, managing director of Precise Mortgages.
“The mortgage industry should serve prospective homebuyers, and we must dispel the belief that lenders continue to favour large deposits and are unforgiving of those with blemishes on their credit record.
“There are specialist lenders in the market ideally placed to help navigate the obstacles potential homebuyers face, but there is still more to be done across the wider industry. Ensuring that all viable homeowners have access to mortgage products should be the aim of the industry as a whole.”