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‘Smashed avo on toast’ versus ‘the housing market’

As house prices continue to rise, the next generation of home buyers have been greeted with an uphill task getting themselves on the property ladder. However, ING Research Managing Director, Ian Bright, explores the situation and smashes a few myths along the way

‘Smashed avocado on toast.’ The words have changed from an expensive item on a menu to a form of insult; usually one directed at a younger generation by those in an older group. The gist of the put-down is a nod towards those aged roughly under 35 for not having enough financial discipline to save for a house deposit, and instead squandering their money on expensive treats. In 2017, the BBC even calculated an avocado on toast index comparing how many of the breakfast delicacies people in various countries would need to forego to save a 20% deposit on a typical property.

But the young are not necessarily feckless. By the age of 35, 24% across Europe own a property with a mortgage. That’s essentially equal to the 25% of those aged 35 or older in the same situation. Surprisingly, 19% of under-35s responding to the online survey say they own without a mortgage. Less surprising is that this rises to 41% for those over 35, largely due to many having paid off their mortgage by the age of 55.

Younger people want to buy
Despite property being expensive, younger people have not given up hope of buying a house. Only 5% of those in Europe aged under 35 who have never owned a property and are renting don’t want to buy. Fourteen percent say they don’t expect to be able to buy and 12% don’t know if they will buy. Together, that’s almost a third of people (31%) who are seemingly unlikely to own a house in their lifetime.

Those older than 35, who have never bought a property and are renting, have different attitudes and expectations. Twenty-two percent don’t want to buy; 50% don’t expect to be able to buy and 14% do not know. Together, that’s 86%.

While the older of both groups may be more realistic about their prospects, the young still dream of owning a house.

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