If the government was hoping the royal wedding might cheer us all up, I’m afraid it was short-lived.
In addition to rising prices of oil, food and VAT, now we’ve been informed that the cost of running a car has increased by 20% during the past 12 months.
Figures published last month also showed the purchasing power of households fell in 2010, the first full-year fall in 30 years. I’ve noticed how this is now a topic of conversation socially as people are feeling their spending power diminishing.
Nowhere is this more evident than the desire to purchase a home. I’m always fascinated when speaking with lenders to find out what they consider is the average age of first-time buyers. Currently this seems to be around 35 to 38.
Interestingly, according to recent press headlines we’re now in a generation of renters. This is something several politicians have been keen to promote and would put us in a similar position to many of our European neighbours.
If lifetime renting is going to be the norm, the mortgage industry needs to be able identify those who we couldn’t help with a mortgage but could support in other ways.
Ensuring your IT system can identify individuals who did not become clients because you couldn’t help with a mortgage will open up opportunities.
If home ownership is no longer the norm, we need to support those who will rent long term. This may be by linking them to reputable lettings agents or ensuring they have adequate personal protection, including contents insurance.