News Round-Up: London loans, apprentices, first-time buyers and families in debt

Apprentices not fired (up)

SCHOOL-leavers are being put off opting for apprenticeships, according to a report about to be published.

The report from the Prudential focused on Scotland is expected to conclude that school-leavers underestimate apprentice pay, do not believe the qualification is good enough, or have too little information from their school or college. A majority believe a degree will make them more employable though many are unaware of programmes running in sectors such as financial services.

London loans risk

HELP TO BUY London could bring ‘significant’ house price rises across the capital, amid worries that it will distort the market and add risk, property agents say.

The new incarnation of the programme, announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement late last year, came into effect this month..

The government has doubled the size of loans available from 20per cent of the value of a property to 40per cent, with the taxpayer shouldering the burden.

Adam Challis, head of residential research at JLL, said: “Once you get to 40per cent, you are just putting people who are at the margins of being able to afford home ownership into ever more tricky or risky positions, but without the inherent risk of that position.”

He added: “My concern with an expanded Help to Buy programme is that it creates an artificial prop to the market.”

The average first-time buyer property in London is now £367,900, according to Halifax.

Generation Rent

FIRST-TIME buyers are spending more than £50,000 in rent before they can get on the property ladder.

Rising rents and the need for larger deposits as house prices soar mean today’s first-time buyers will have paid an average of £52,900 to landlords while they were saving to buy. In London it’s over £68,000, and in the north-east £31,300.

A report by the Association of Residential Letting Agents and the Centre for Economics and Business Research found  homebuyers spend the equivalent of 16.4 per cent of their total lifetime earnings on rent before getting on to the property ladder.

In 2015 alone, the average UK worker spent 22 per cent of their wages on rent, increasing to 30 per cent in London. The report found that Britons typically moved out of their family home at 18 years old and rented for 13 years before buying.

David Cox, ARLA managing director, said rents were becoming ‘alarmingly unaffordable’ because of a shortage of housing.

A separate report from Nationwide revealed that a fifth of adults are waiting until they are at least 26 before leaving the family home to save on costs.

Nearly three in ten young people are choosing to stay with their parents while they save for a deposit to buy their own place.

Debt mountains

FAMILIES are running up debt mountains by spending more and saving less.  Latest figures suggest that, up until last autumn at any rate, the growing economy and record low interest rates have boosted consumer confidence at the tills. Household spending rose by 3.4 per cent in July to September 2015, compared to the same months the previous year – far faster than either inflation or wage increases. Meanwhile, household savings fell to 5.8 per cent, down from 8.4 per cent.       Pricewaterhouse Coopers, said: “It’s possible that households are running down their savings, or not saving as much. Given that we’ve had this very low Bank of England interest rate, that’s probably influencing borrowing and saving behaviour. It’s no surprise people aren’t saving when the rate is so low.”


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