For a student leaving university, one of the main considerations is where they want to live.
Going back home to Mum and Dad can be a daunting prospect, having just enjoyed three years of total freedom and independence. But increasingly this is becoming the most realistic solution for many young people.
Renting property makes it very hard to get a foot on the property ladder, but with increasing house prices across the country, a new study by the Resolution Foundation has found that up to a third of millennials risk having to rent for their whole lives.
It is useful to gain a little background information when talking about housing. Back in the 80s, when many of today’s student’s parents would have been buying their first properties, the average house price was between £25,000 and £30,000, adjusted for inflation. Now days, you could be looking at upwards of £250,000.
A lot of the fast rise in prices is due to a lack of housing stock. There is ever increasing demand for housing in the UK, and all that does is drive prices up, making it harder for young people to buy.
There has, however, recently been a slight drop in house price growth, suggesting an impending slump in the housing market. The main fall in growth has been triggered by London house prices, which fell slightly over the last year for the first time since 2009.
In order to get on to the housing ladder, young people are forced to save a large sum to put down as a deposit for a property. This becomes almost impossible when renting. It’s called the rent trap, where monthly payments for rent are not allowing young people to save for deposits, and so they are caught in limbo, never gaining access to the housing ladder. The government has said that it is putting policies in place to help first time buyers, but the Resolution Foundation has said that much more help is required for those stuck renting properties.
So what can students do to make it easier to get on the first rung of the housing ladder? Well, a number of financial guidance services have answers, and they can all be found online.
One of the solutions that comes up most may sound like the most painful for students enjoying their independence – move back home for a year or two. This is just a case of grit your teeth and bare it. If you can move home for a few years while earning full time, you have a great opportunity to save for that house deposit. You could set up a system with your parents whereby you pay ‘rent’ to your parents, but those payments go into a savings account for your deposit.
If moving back home isn’t the answer for you, there are some great mortgage programs for young people, which allow you to get a mortgage without a deposit, but with your parents acting as guarantors.
The overarching message is just to put money aside, and think about the future. Deposits are becoming increasingly more expensive as time goes by, so it is becoming more and more important to put money aside now, and think about the future.
It may seem like that extra £20 in your bank should go on a few extra pints at the bar, but it’s worthwhile putting it into a savers account. You’ll thank yourself later!