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Generational divide causing property market inertia

Of those householders not looking to move, 61% of people aged 55+ said it was because they were happy with their current property compared to just 28% of those aged 34 and under.

While the contentment felt by older homeowners may continue to limit the amount of available housing stock, the stagnation in the market is likely to be prolonged by the perceived financial obstacles facing younger Britons.

Of those people aged 34 and under who are not planning to buy or sell a property, the main reasons include having an insufficient deposit (29%), concern about not getting a mortgage (15%) and fears about employment prospects (14%). While financial concerns were a factor for many young people staying put, 10% said they simply did not wish to own a home, suggesting a reverse in the home ownership aspirations of this age group.

The main reasons people aged 55+ are thinking of selling a property are to downsize (36%) and release some, or all, of the equity held within it (33%).

The key motivations for younger people (aged 34 and under) wanting to buy or sell include to get on the property ladder (31%) and the need for more space/upsize (27%).

According to region, selling homes will be especially popular in north-west England, where 8% of people are hoping to move home. Buying homes will be popular in Scotland (9%), London (10%) and south-east England (9%). Purchasing buy-to-lets looks set to be more common in north-west England (4%), the West Midlands (3%) and London (4%).

But overall, the housing market looks set to be the most buoyant for Londoners, where 18% of people are thinking of buying and/or selling property of one sort or another in the next six months.

Peter Dockar, HSBC Head of Mortgages, said: "Our research suggests that the current economic climate is of particular concern to younger people who either want to get on the housing ladder or move on to a larger property.

"All this supports the prediction of the Council of Mortgage Lenders that lending will fall this year."

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