Two fifths of young Scots don’t understand how a mortgage works

Two fifths of young Scots don’t understand how a mortgage works

A quarter (25%) of young people in Scotland say a lack of knowledge is a key barrier to home ownership, with two fifths (39%) unable to confidently explain how a mortgage works, according to the latest research from Bank of Scotland.

The survey of over 2,100 18 to 34-year-olds living in Scotland, found that the greatest obstacles to getting onto the housing ladder remain affordability (73%), saving for a deposit (62%), and the availability of suitable properties (34%).

Currently, around half of young Scots either rent from a private landlord (34%) or live with their parents (16%), and a fifth (21%) hold a mortgage. Fewer than a quarter (23%) of those living with their parents are doing so through choice, and three quarters (75%) are living in the family home, as they’re unable to afford to move out.

Looking to the future, young Scots who are aiming to get a foot on the property ladder, believe this will be achievable by the age of 31 – slightly longer than the current average age of Scotland’s first-time buyers of 30.

Some of the nation’s young adults anticipate their home-owning dreams to be boosted by inheritance, with one in three (34%) expecting to receive inheritance in the future, with half (50%) intending to spend this money on a property.

However, just over one in 10 (11%) believe they will never be in a position to afford their own home.

Ricky Diggins, director, Bank of Scotland, said: “Young people in Scotland who want to realise their home-owning dreams continue to be affected by issues around affordability and availability of properties. Our survey shows that a third of adults under 34 are struggling to find a property that’s right for them and a sixth continue to live in the family home whilst they save for their next step.

“Our research also revealed that young Scots don’t feel financially confident when it comes to understanding how mortgages work, feeling this knowledge gap is impeding their progress onto the housing ladder. Asking friends and family members to share their experiences is a great way to increase confidence, and getting in touch with your Bank to discuss the basic steps, will help demystify the process.”

Young people in the far north of Scotland are the least likely to be confident in explaining how a mortgage works, with two fifths (40%) of respondents in the Highlands and Islands admitting they would struggle to do so. Young locals in this area are also more likely to say a lack of knowledge is one of the top three barriers to home ownership (31%), second only to those living in South and Central Scotland (32%). Comparatively, those in North East Scotland show relative confidence, with only 18% highlighting lack of knowledge as a barrier to buying a home.

Nearer to the border, young people are mostly likely to be homeowners, with 35% of 18 to 35-year-olds in South Scotland holding a mortgage. However, in metropolitan Glasgow, where the average house price is £196,625 just 18% of young people own their own home. Similarly, young Glaswegians also expect to wait the longest to get foothold on the property ladder, until 32, on average.

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