Are we French kissing goodbye to our home owning dreams?

Are we French kissing goodbye to our home owning dreams?


We have started the week with more gloomy statistics about new buyers having given up hope of ever owning their own home due to the constraints of deposits and readiness of banks to lend at higher loan-to-value rates.

The Halifax commissioned a study with 8000 20-45 year olds to gauge their attitudes towards buying and it makes for a gloomy read. The general consensus seems to be that people have given up on the thought of owning their own place.

But are we really happy to become a nation of renters like our neighbours on the continent? Have we really lost that drive to own our own piece of Britain? I think not. The study found that 84 per cent of people believe that first time buyers are being deterred from entering the property market because they think that banks don't want to lend to them a quiet resignation that should not be allowed to take root.

Is it just me that thinks it's a more than a little ironic that these stats are coming from the very institution that has the power to reverse the fortunes of first time buyers? I find it despicable that people are being allowed to feel abandoned by the system that has enabled and encouraged people to own their own homes for generations. Perhaps if the Halifax stopped touting negative news and focussed on how best they could help buyers people wouldn't feel quite so disenfranchised.

These findings aren't demonstrating a step-change in cultural attitudes. We help hundreds of first time buyers achieve their house-buying dreams every year. Our incentives designed specifically for first time buyers are hugely popular. MiWay our equity loan scheme and Government scheme HomeBuy Direct have been hugely successful.

We recently launched Family Deposit a scheme that helps to reward the relatives of first time buyers that have assisted them with deposits for their first home by paying the equivalent of five per cent interest over five years as a lump sum.

The announcement of the coalition government's new equity loan scheme FirstBuy also proves that there is a huge and pressing need to help first time buyers achieve their home owning dreams.

Such stong take-up of these schemes surely proves that people haven't reverted to the continental view that renting will do but rather are looking for new ways to replace the role once played by the UK's banks. The credit crunch has changed lots of things but it hasn't shifted the great British need to own our own home. A Brit's home is his or her castle and renting simply won't suffice. Et que la verite.

Sue Warwick National Sales and Marketing Director Miller Homes