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Young face 'decades of saving' to buy first home

Independent research commissioned by housing charity Shelter shows that people in their 20s have become locked out of home ownership. Credit: PA Wire

Young people trapped by high property prices face having to save for up to 30 years before they can afford a deposit on their first home, a charity warned.

Independent research commissioned by housing charity Shelter shows that people in their 20s have become locked out of home ownership, meaning a generation will be stuck renting for longer.

The study looked at earnings, house prices, rents and spending on essentials in local authorities across the country to show the extent of the challenge faced by households wanting to save a deposit to buy a home in their area.

Sales of £1 million-plus homes soar to new heights in UK

Across Britain, 7,397 homes with a price tag of over £1 million were snapped up last year. Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Sales of homes worth over £1 million have soared to their highest level since the height of the 2007 housing boom, a report found today.

Top-end property sales increased by 2% year-on-year in 2012, with Scotland, the East Midlands and London all seeing rises, Lloyds TSB found.

Million pound properties out-performed the rest of the market in 2012, as sales of homes below this price bracket dropped off by 3% year-on-year, the report said.

Across Britain, 7,397 homes with a price tag of over £1 million were snapped up last year, marking the highest number seen since 2007. Almost one quarter of all these sales took place in the London boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster.

By contrast, just four sales of million pound homes took place across Wales during 2012 and nine were made in North East England.

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Home owners downsize 'to cut bills'

A third of home owners who plan to downsize in the near future are doing so in order to cut their household bills, a study has found.

Just over half (51%) of home owners surveyed who are planning to move house in the next three years said they plan to downsize, compared with just over a fifth (22%) who are looking to trade up to somewhere bigger, Lloyds TSB found.

But "empty nesters" who no longer need the space are not the only ones looking to trade down, and while 63% of those looking to do so are aged over 55, more than a quarter are aged between 46 and 55 and around 5% are aged between 36 and 45, the study found.