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How important is owning a property to you?

TORY LEADER David Cameron recently mooted proposals for a new type of Right to Buy scheme with the aim of increasing home ownership by converting rental payments on social housing into mortgage repayments. But does the public think owning property is all that important?

So, this week Mortgage Strategy asks…

Ciara Power, 29, nurse
I’ve just bought a house. It wasn’t something I desperately wanted to do and I saw it more as an opportunity. It was a shared ownership deal – we bought half and the housing association the other half. But it feels like we own the whole house so it’s been a great opportunity. We can live in a house that is worth twice as much as we paid. I’m not planning on staying in England for more than four or five years so I am not looking for a big family home and at least this way I am not lining a landlord’s pockets.

Matt Carter, 35, TV director
I have a flat. It was important for me to get on the property ladder. I think it’s already been a good investment. I bought it about a year ago and used a mortgage broker as I’m a bit of a financial buffoon – I needed some help. I think everyone should aim to get on the property ladder. I’m not getting any younger and I just felt it was the right time to do it although it took me a while to save up the deposit.

Tim Tyrell, 35, producer
I bought my flat two years ago with a mortgage from Abbey. I thought it was better than throwing money down the drain by paying rent. There are two of us so that made it easier and I think it was the only way I could have bought a place, especially in London. Although it’s really expensive to buy in London I think you gain an advantage in terms of profit if you can manage it.

Benny Schneider, 28, producer
In Germany buying a house is not as important to people as it is here. In England and the US it’s the first thought in everyone’s head but in Germany we’re happy to rent. But it’s changing over there, with more people considering getting on the property ladder while they’re young. I think in the US buying property is big business – people buy houses, renovate them and sell them on.

Sam Gray, 28, games assistant
Obviously I’d love to own a house but it’s expensive so I’m renting at the moment. I have debt from university and my first priority is to clear that. In a couple of years my girlfriend and I hope to be in a position to buy but we will have to look on the outskirts of town, possibly in west London.

Kai Nopuko, 25, musician
Owning a property is not important to me. I’m homeless at the moment but I choose to be. I just sleep at friends’ houses if I need to but I like the outdoors because I like to feel free. If you buy a house you are tied to a mortgage and stuck in the same place – that’s not for me. I’d like to live in a mobile home, a camper van or a houseboat and go wherever I please. I would like to keep my freedom.

Virginia Henry, 50, knowledge manager
In London it’s vital to own a home and I’m lucky as I’ve owned a house for a long time. I’ve heard about groups of young people buying houses together and that seems like a good option for them, with prices being so high. Landlords are to blame for people finding it hard to get on the property ladder – and the government, obviously. But employers are also to blame – they used to help their employees buy homes but they don’t anymore.

Wendel Lemos, 32, manager
It’s not that important to me. It’s too expensive to buy in London so it’s not something I’m considering. It’s much more expensive here than it is at home in Brazil. In places like Italy people are not interested in getting on the property ladder but in Brazil it is similar to England. People set a target for when they want to buy a property and do all they can to achieve it.

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