According to research from Guarantor Loan Comparison, 45.9% of 18-44 year olds feel as if they need parental support to get on the property ladder, with only 27.9% of respondents reporting that they felt happy with their financial capabilities.
Across demographics the priority of financial concerns varied; a higher percentage of females reported being concerned about budgeting at just under 24%, whereas the figure sat at just 4.35% for males. No respondents in the 18-20 age group reported being concerned about debt, a figure which rose in older demographics, hitting a peak of 32% in the 25-34 age range. This coincides with the average age of first-time buyers, and a peak in concern over salaries, with 8% of respondents in this group reporting their salary as a top concern.
The tendency to need financial support from parents is more marked in younger age groups, dropping from 78% of 18-20 years olds to 35% of 35-44 year olds. However despite slight variations, housing and mortgages remain the top financial concern across all demographics, bringing in a consistent portion of respondents listing it as a priority across age ranges. 18-20 year olds clocked the largest proportion at 66%, but percentages across higher age groups are remarkably similar, with a variation of only 7%: 40% of 21-24 year olds, 44% of 25-34 year olds, and nearly 47% of 35-44 year olds reporting housing as their top financial concern. By gender, nearly 31% of male respondents ranked this as the topic they most wanted support with, compared to 55% of women.
At the other end of the scale, salary consistently ranks at the bottom of the list of financial concerns across demographics, measuring 4.25% to 5.26% for males and females respectively and reaching a height of 8% of respondents in the 25-34 age group. This consistent lack of concern around salaries compared with high levels of concern over housing highlights that the costs of the property market are growing at a far greater rate than wages can keep up with.
According to the Independent, researchers found that homebuyers in the 1960s spent around two years saving a deposit of £595 from an average household income of £2,854 – just under 21% of the average yearly income. Those who have bought since 2011 have on average spent more than five years saving a deposit of £20,622 – almost 50% of the £35,634 average annual household income. The research suggests that as a direct result of this, just under 50% of people purchasing property since 2011 required parental help at an average amount of £10,200.
Concerns about salary and debt both peak in the age range of 25-34, which correlates with the average age group for first time buyers. This could suggest that rather than being a relief or milestone of success, the costs of buying a house actually increase the financial strain on the buyer, pushing debt up to the second biggest concern and causing more concern over salary. Furthermore, respondents’ confidence in their own financial abilities drops markedly down from 32% in the 25-34 group to just 13.3% in the 35-44 age range, while concern about debt and property both sit at their second highest rate, suggesting that financial pressures (especially relating to housing), do not alleviate over time but in fact become more concerning after the purchase of a property.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, this research tells us that housing and property is the number one financial concern across gender and age demographics. Although the percentage of respondents receiving parental support decreases as age increases, concerns over debt become more pressing overall while faith in financial ability falls, betraying an image of a consistently harsh financial environment that spans demographics.