Buying or renting a home has never been more difficult, with soaring prices and families getting into debt according to a new surveys.

Yesterday, the UK’s biggest mortgage lender, Halifax, claimed house price growth unexpectedly picked up last month despite slowing down in June and July. The hike in house prices has pushed up rents and the cost of moving between rented properties is also a burden.

One in four privately renting families in England are taking on serious debts to cover the cost of “home hopping”, according to research from Shelter released yesterday.

The charity said 25 per of those it surveyed took on debt from credit cards or bank loans to move. Just one in five people aged 25 own their own home now - half the number only two decades ago. The average age in the UK for people to become home homeowners is now 30, far higher than 1967 when it was 25.

Insurance company Aviva estimates 3.8 million people aged 21-34 could be living back in family home by 2025 as a result of the difficulties they face.

First time buyer Simon Rolando wants a property in Southend where buyers need to be earning an average yearly wage of £27,600.

At 24, Simon currently lives at home in Bishop’s Stortford in Hertfordshire but is hoping to move in with his girlfriend Rusela Dosti, 25.

Working for an electrical wholesaling company in Leigh, he faces a long daily commute so is saving to get a foot on the property ladder.


He said: “It has been a stressful process because I’ve had to be so good with my money and that limits you, especially when you’re in your early to mid-twenties . It can be nerve-racking knowing exactly what you need. I’ve stopped going out in the last couple of years because I know that £50 or whatever that I spend on a night out could be better used elsewhere.

“We were adamant that we weren’t going to rent as we know a lot of people who have fallen down that trap, particularly in the area we were looking at.

“I’m quite good with my money so with every paycheque I always put a bit straight into a separate savings account.”

Despite the difficulties, Mr Rolando is close to achieving his goal thanks to an inheritance.

He said: “To save for the house or bungalow I’m after, and to be able to have a monthly mortgage I can afford, I think I will need a least a £50,000 deposit, possibly even £75,000.

“I lost my mother when I was a teenager so I was left with a bit of an inheritance which means I will get there a lot quicker than most people.

“Hopefully it will happen within the next year or so when I’m 25. Without that inheritance, that could have been closer to 30.”

Mr Rolando added: “Nowadays, to be left with a reasonable monthly mortgage almost everyone needs a helping hand to get on the property ladder with how extreme prices are now.

“Me and my girlfriend started looking for apartments and flats but after researching a bit, we found out people often get conned with the maintenance and lease payments.”

Echo: Determined - Tino Callaghan

AS young people in South Essex struggling to get their feet on the property ladder, an alternative is renting but this can also prove costly.

Tennant fees have become more expensive in recent years despite Government introducing measures this year to ban unfair letting agent fees.

The concern is that these fees will just be dumped onto the landlords who will pass on the cost to tenants. Housing charity, Shelter, found one in seven tenants pay more than £500 in such fees on top of high rents.

Tino Callaghan lost his son Kieron, 25, who died suddenly because of the stress of working 16-hour days trying to save for a deposit for a flat for his family. The Prittlewell ward councillor is adamant something needs to change to help young people.

He said: “Youngsters have absolutely no chance at the moment, particularly if they are renting.

“One of the biggest problems we face is the high rents in London. It means that people are coming down to Southend and we are having to cater for them.

“People are struggling to pay rent and as a council we aren’t prioritising looking after residents of Southend. The Government aren’t capping prices and landlords are getting greedy. It is so hard for some people to rent right now as a result.

“The private housing sector of the council is working tirelessly in order to help young people as much as they can.”

Mike Gray of Dedman Gray estate agents said it makes much more sense to buy instead of rent He said: “Many mortgage lenders offer incentives which is sometimes making mortgages less per month than rental levels that are being charged due to interest being low.

“With rental levels increasing, the younger sector is keener to buy which is a positive move.

“My advice to the young sector trying to buy for the first time would be to keep your monthly outgoings low and save for a deposit.”