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Insolvencies among millenials soar as housing costs shred ‘cash cushions’

The number of insolvencies among millenials has climbed rapidly in the past three years, as rising housing prices leave younger people without a “cash cushion” to fall back on.

House price inflation is partially driving the trend, which has seen the number of insolvencies among under 35s rise by nearly a fifth during the past year, according to professional services firm Moore Stephens.

Meanwhile, the number of insolvencies – which can often lead to bankruptcy – among over 55s has dropped, falling by 9 per cent among the baby-boomer category of over 65s.

“The rates that millennials are going insolvent is very worrying, and the problem is worsening,” said Jeremy Willmont, head of restructuring and insolvency at Moore Stephens. “Millennials have more than twice as much of a chance of insolvency than baby boomers; this is a major cause for concern.”

Last year, 4.3 in 10,000 over 65s and 9.6 in 10,000 under 25s went insolvent, the firm found, adding that millennials often have “little left to act as a cash cushion” if they suddenly lose an income stream.

Moore Stephens pointed to older people spending proportionately less on housing, and said many can rely on a partner for emergency money in the event of a job loss of illness. Recent figures from the Office for National statistics showed that 4 per cent of the UK’s net property wealth was held by under 25s, with over 65s holding 41 per cent.

“In addition to high rents and mortgage repayment costs, millennials can often find it difficult to save significant amounts,” said Willmont. “Millennials are at risk of falling into debt through using credit cards and loans to cover living costs such as buying and maintaining a car, which can easily be set up without taking financial advice.”

Source: City A.M.

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Mismatch between housing costs and earnings in Brighton and Hove highlighted by new report

The South East Home Truths 2017-18 report by the National Housing Federation estimates that the average home now costs almost £395,000 in the Brighton and Hove City Council area.

This is 14 times the typical local salary, the report said, making home ownership impossible for many.

The report also said

• The cost of renting privately has added to the pressure on people’s income. Average monthly rents now stand at £1,292 swallowing up around 55 per cent of private renters’ income.

• A significant number of housing benefit recipients are in work – 27 per cent – yet are still unable to afford their rent. This is higher than the England average. This shows rents across the region are increasingly unaffordable.

• One of the reasons for the growing crisis is down to a large shortfall of new housing. From 2012 to 2016, an estimated 5,700 too few homes were built in Brighton and Hove.

Housing associations in the south east built more than 6,000 homes in 2016-17 and started a further 8,700.

And more than 4,800 of these starts and completions were classed as being for “affordable” home ownership, including shared ownership.

National Housing Federation external affairs manager Dave Smith said: ‘The housing market has seen a relentless rise in the gap between house prices and people’s salaries.

“Brighton and Hove is no exception. Attaining a mortgage is increasingly unrealistic and private sector rents make saving up that bit more difficult.

“As this year’s Home Truths report shows, it is more important than ever for the sector to be able to deliver homes that are truly affordable.

“If we want to get serious about ending the housing crisis, we need to start looking at unlocking more land so we can build homes faster.”

Hyde Housing’s operations director Tom Shaw said: “The delivery of more homes of all types in Brighton and Hove is important to meet demand.

“Hyde has set up a partnership with Brighton and Hove City Council to significantly increase the supply of new affordable homes in the area.

“We are investing over £60 million to build 1,000 new low-cost homes for sale and rent specifically for local people earning the typical local wage.”

Councillor Anne Meadows, who chairs the council’s Housing and New Homes Committee, said: “Building affordable rented new homes for local people is a key priority for Brighton and Hove City Council.

“There is a huge demand for housing in the city and, with the supply of low-cost rented homes not keeping pace with demand, we’re having to look at innovative solutions to build much-needed new homes.

“The joint venture is the biggest commitment to affordable housing in the city for a generation.

“Alongside our New Homes for Neighbourhoods programme, building new council housing, it will deliver decent and genuinely affordable homes for local residents and create a significant number of jobs and apprenticeships.”

Source: Brighton and Hove News