Fewer than one in three potential first-time buyers believe they will be helped to get on to the property ladder by the Help to Buy scheme.
More than one third (34%) said they would still struggle to get a mortgage and over one in ten (12%) said they would find a 5% deposit difficult to save for. Nearly a quarter (24%) were unsure if the scheme, which will make 95% mortgages widely available from next January, will help.
The findings are in a MoneySupermarket survey which also found that 35% of non-home owners think they will never be able to buy their own home. This time a year ago, the proportion was 41%, suggesting that first-time buyers are more hopeful.
Those who believe they will get on to the housing ladder estimate they will be 37 years old when they buy their first home.
This increases to 38 for those looking to buy in London, while those in Yorkshire and Humberside believe they will manage to get a foot on the housing ladder by 34. North of the border, Scots will be 42 on average before they buy their first property, underlining the fact that only a third of those in Scotland (30%) intend to buy their own home compared to 61% of Londoners and 45% nationally.
The MoneySupermarket analysis revealed that the number of overall mortgage products available to first-time buyers is currently 1,565 – up 17% on this time last year, while the average rate on first-time buyer mortgages has dropped 0.59% year-on-year.
However, the average LTV is now 76% for first-time buyers, down from 78% this time a year ago. This means someone taking out a mortgage on a £150,000 property would need a deposit of £36,000, an extra £3,000 compared with last year.
For those seeking a 90% LTV mortgage, the number of mortgages available has fallen by 13%, although the average rate for these products has fallen by 0.52% since April 2012.
Clare Francis, mortgage spokesperson at MoneySupermarket.com said: “Home ownership is something millions of people aspire to, so it’s encouraging to see an increase in the number of people who hope to one day own their own home, even though it may feel a long way off for many.
“The Funding for Lending scheme has provided a real boost for the mortgage market in terms of the number of products available. However, the main beneficiaries are those with large deposits, so it is understandable that so many aspiring home owners still think it’s going to be difficult to get on to the property ladder.
“And even though the Government’s new Help to Buy initiative is aimed at giving help to these people, it is evident that many are sceptical that it will make a significant difference.”
Meanwhile, separate research for the Council of Mortgage Lenders shows that home ownership, not renting, is still the ultimate lifestyle choice for most. See next story.