Abbey reveals property ladder barriers

31 October 2006
House prices are a key factor holding back the 17.3 million adults who feel unable to take the first step onto the property ladder, according to research from Abbey.

The survey finds that 7.4 million of those 17.3 million cite house prices as one of the main reasons they cannot make the leap. Annual house price inflation rose by 3.3 per cent between 2005 and 2006.

Other factors deterring would-be buyers include prohibitive deposits, for 6.9 million people, and a failure to find the right mortgage for 2.1 million.

The commitment of making a purchase puts off 6 million people, while others feel they don't have the time (2.5 million) or are not secure enough in their jobs (3 million).

Hopeful homeowners face "many barriers of which the most notable is the cost of homes", concluded Nici Audham Gardiner, Abbey mortgage product executive.

High prices mean 3.4 million people are waiting for house prices to fall before they buy, the survey also found.

Many forecasters, including Knight Frank and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, are looking to an interest rate hike in November to curb rising prices.

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