Generational divide stalling housing market

A generational divide will stagnate the UK housing market this year, according to HSBC, as young people are unable to buy and older homeowners are unwilling to sell.

The 2012 HSBC Moving Home Survey, which asked more than 2,000 adults about their home buying and selling intentions over the next six months, revealed that only 12% are thinking about moving home or getting on the housing ladder.

Of those householders not looking to move, 61% of people aged 55 and over said it was because they are happy with their current property, compared to just 28% of those aged 34 and under.  

Of those people aged 34 and under who are not planning to buy or sell a property, the main reasons include having an insufficient deposit (29%), concern about not getting a mortgage (15%) and fears about employment prospects (14%).

An additional 10% said they simply did not wish to own a home.

The main reasons people aged 55 and over are thinking of selling a property are to downsize (36%) and release some or all of the equity held within it (33%).

The key motivations for younger people wanting to buy or sell include to get on the property ladder (31%) and the need for more space or to upsize (27%).  

Peter Dockar, head of mortgages at HSBC, says: “Our research suggests that the current economic climate is of particular concern to younger people who either want to get on the housing ladder or move on to a larger property.

“All this supports the prediction from the Council of Mortgage Lenders that lending will fall this year.  However, HSBC has no intention of closing its doors to customers.”