Project Peter Pan: 'The only way I'd be able to save for a house deposit is by selling my car'

Sam Carroll, 23, from West Bridgford, is part of a 'lost generation' unable to afford a mortgage Sam Carroll, 23, from West Bridgford, is part of a 'lost generation' unable to afford a mortgage
Sam Carroll, 23, from West Bridgford, is part of a 'lost generation' unable to afford a mortgage
We spoke to 23-year-old Sam Carroll from West Bridgford, who works two jobs but admits buying his own place is a way off yet

Buying a house - sounds simple, right? 

But for an entire generation, the idea of owning their own home has become somewhat of an unattainable dream.

The repercussions of Covid, paired with ever-increasing house prices, mean people may never get onto the property ladder. 

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And if they do, at what cost? Days spent working from childhood bedrooms or missing out on vital life experiences, this is the reality faced by many young people in their 20s and 30s living in Nottingham and beyond.

That struggle is very real for 23-year-old Sam Carroll from West Bridgford. 

Sam graduated from university in 2021 and for the past two-and-a-half years has worked two part-time jobs as a marketing and communications assistant and a sports coach. 

Sam (left) earns around £1,200 a month from his two jobs Sam (left) earns around £1,200 a month from his two jobs
Sam (left) earns around £1,200 a month from his two jobs

The two jobs earn Sam around £1,200 a month, but he still lives with his parents and has no immediate plans of buying a house - or moving out - due to financial constraints, but believes the rental market is more realistic than a mortgage. 

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“I’m not in a long-term job and the chances of me getting a long-term job soon are slim. 

“If I was to get a house I wouldn’t want to be tied down. I’d want the flexibility of being able to move if I got a job that was further away.”

Inflation expectation

According to Rightmove, Nottingham had an overall average price of £252,814 over the last year.

Overall, sold prices in Nottingham over the last year were 1% down on the previous year and 3% up on the 2021 peak of £245,278.

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For many young people, the prospect of saving for a 10% deposit is a daunting one, particularly against the cost of living backdrop. 

With wages struggling to keep up with the rate of inflation, a young person saving around £25,000 for a deposit has never been tougher. 

“I have had salary increases over the past couple of years, but they haven’t been brilliant,” Sam adds. 

“Would I be able to live on what I’m earning at the minute if I wasn’t living at home and had to pay for everything myself? Probably not.”

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The average house price in Nottingham over the past year was £252,814The average house price in Nottingham over the past year was £252,814
The average house price in Nottingham over the past year was £252,814

It's a car or a house

For Sam, like so many young people in work, it’s simply not possible to save the majority of his monthly salary for a deposit. 

After passing his driving test two years ago, the 23-year-old has been reliant on using his vehicle to get to work. 

With insurance premiums up 21% since June 2022, Sam’s lifeline for getting to and from his place and work has never been more expensive to run. 

“My car is my biggest expense and I need it for work. If I had to sell it [to afford a deposit] that would be the worst thing in the world.”

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With a general election looming, voters like Sam need to be an important consideration for whichever party takes the keys to Number 10. 

If not, then there risks being a lost generation, caught in an endless cycle of staying in the family home, renting, and half-hearted saving.