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Whilst double income multiples are undoubtedly a factor, this is a very complex situation. The reality is that married and cohabiting couples are more and more likely to end up going separate ways. The more this happens and the more that people buy as a couple, the more that people are going to realise that it is often just not a good idea. In actual fact, I know of quite a few instances where affording a property has been the driving force behind marriage. What does that tell you about the modern world?!

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I don't agree at all with your statement. The ratio should look at household income. The multiplier they then use to determine affordability is up to others.

The chart as it stands ignores the fact that the vast majority of homes are purchased by duel income households. One person on an average sal can't expect to be able to afford or compete in the market for the house a duel income family on average income.

Put it this way. If for some reason we started to revert back to a single bread winner, as bb recently suggested, I would have to conclude that the single income multiplier would be very relevant indeed and its historic relevance profound. Apart from the forced unemployment, which has and will continue to occur, I can see no reason why we as a society would move back to single bread winners.

You havn't been able to produce data to support the basis of your argument, like shipbuilder I would question whether in fact there has been a significant shift in FTBs being single to dual income households. It seems more probable to me based on my experience that most FTBs were always dual income households. But I still don't understand what your underlying point is - houses relative to wages are dearer than they were in the past, no? Today most FTBs in a household don't have a choice, both have to work to pay the high prices, but that doesn't mean that they are more 'affordable'.

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You havn't been able to produce data to support the basis of your argument, like shipbuilder I would question whether in fact there has been a significant shift in FTBs being single to dual income households. It seems more probable to me based on my experience that most FTBs were always dual income households.

Interesting point - does a credit bubble change the single/dual income FTB ratio? Does historically loose lending criteria change the single/dual income FTB ratio? Are we still in a credit bubble until this ratio returns to historical levels?

When I bought a house back in 1993. There was only 2 other single people near me in the development. The other 20 odd houses that I could see were all families. Though maybe some of them were actually single income. When my brother bought back in 2002 there were 2 other people he works with that bought at the same time. Of course back in 2002 the average house price was around £80k according to the Nationwide reports.

Edited by Belfast Boy
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Interesting point - does a credit bubble change the single/dual income FTB ratio? Does historically loose lending criteria change the single/dual income FTB ratio? Are we still in a credit bubble until this ratio returns to historical levels?

When I bought a house back in 1993. There was only 2 other single people near me in the development. The other 20 odd houses that I could see were all families. Though maybe some of them were actually single income. When my brother bought back in 2002 there were 2 other people he works with that bought at the same time. Of course back in 2002 the average house price was around £80k according to the Nationwide reports.

The time scale I am talking about for a change is since the 70's and 80's

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The time scale I am talking about for a change is since the 70's and 80's

This graph covers the 70's , 80's , 90's and it is even updated to show the noughties...

areaundergraph.jpg

Looking at that graph I think that 3.5 times single average income is a certainty at the bottom of this cycle.

That would put the average house price here today at 3.5 x 22,833 = £79,915 which is just back to where they were in early 2002.

Just to support house prices here at £100,000 will require an average wage of £28,571. Which would represent more than 4 years wage inflation at the current rate of 5.15% (which is highly unlikely to be repeated).

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This graph covers the 70's , 80's , 90's and it is even updated to show the noughties...

areaundergraph.jpg

Looking at that graph I think that 3.5 times single average income is a certainty at the bottom of this cycle.

That would put the average house price here today at 3.5 x 22,833 = £79,915 which is just back to where they were in early 2002.

Just to support house prices here at £100,000 will require an average wage of £28,571. Which would represent more than 4 years wage inflation at the current rate of 5.15% (which is highly unlikely to be repeated).

If the majority of couples have a combined income of £43k, as the statistics and CML tables tell us then FTB's house prices of £128k should be sustainable. The majority of single income households will be likely to purchase under that average.

I know your graph is from the 70, when a greater percentage of households where single income household incomes. That is my point the ratio should be rising in line with any increase in the percentage of two income households. The booms/crashes have an effect on this as well as the wage inflation (16%) from before 1993 to 1995 which pulled the ratio down, to its lowest ever whilst house prices were actually rising

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If the majority of couples have a combined income of £43k, as the statistics and CML tables tell us then FTB's house prices of £128k should be sustainable. The majority of single income households will be likely to purchase under that average.

I know your graph is from the 70, when a greater percentage of households where single income household incomes. That is my point the ratio should be rising in line with any increase in the percentage of two income households. The booms/crashes have an effect on this as well as the wage inflation (16%) from before 1993 to 1995 which pulled the ratio down, to its lowest ever whilst house prices were actually rising

Yes but havn't demonstrated an increase in the percentage of two income households through empirical data, its only your guess upon which you then draw a conclusion that $128k is a 'sustainable' price for FTBs (whatever sustainable means in your terms - maintaining profit margins for developers at a cost for purchasers of being enslaved by a high mortage to have the privilege of a basic human right.)

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Yes but havn't demonstrated an increase in the percentage of two income households through empirical data, its only your guess upon which you then draw a conclusion that $128k is a 'sustainable' price for FTBs (whatever sustainable means in your terms - maintaining profit margins for developers at a cost for purchasers of being enslaved by a high mortage to have the privilege of a basic human right.)

And, as I alluded to, there is plenty of evidence to show that divorce rates are increasing and that people are waiting until they are older until they commit to relationships. That means that there are a bunch of people out there who need housing, but would, 30 years ago, probably have been buying as couples...

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Yes but havn't demonstrated an increase in the percentage of two income households through empirical data, its only your guess upon which you then draw a conclusion that $128k is a 'sustainable' price for FTBs (whatever sustainable means in your terms - maintaining profit margins for developers at a cost for purchasers of being enslaved by a high mortage to have the privilege of a basic human right.)

Alas all I can find is an American site. Its not exactly what I was looking for but the figures are significant enough. It shows that the percentage of all families with both parents working has increased from less than 30% in 1975 to over 60% in 2005.

More than 60 percent of families with children under age 18 had both parents employed outside the home in 2005-2006, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That compares to less than a third in 1975

The single-income family with two children in the early 1970s earned about $32,000 in inflation-adjusted dollars, compared to $73,000 for the dual-income family in the early 2000s.

In 1970, the one-income family saved 11 percent of its take-home pay and allocated 1.4 percent of its annual income to pay revolving debt, such as credit cards. In 2005, the two-income family saved nothing, and allocated 15 percent of its annual income to revolving debt.

On an inflation-adjusted basis, the cost of food, clothing, appliances, electronics, and automobiles has gone down.

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I don't fully understand your question and please don't come at me with human rights.

A sustainable price, in the context I used it refers to a level I believe the house could remain at. Whether the developer is making money or loosing money at that level is irrelevant for discussion. It wont effect what someone will pay for it.

If the average income is almost £23k, and averages take account of any difference in male and female then the sum of two averages could be assumed to be, on average £45k. The CML (who sees the info on every mortgage) tells us that the average income of all FTB'er households (including single and double incomes) is £43k in NI(I therefore assume there is a fairly high % of dual incomes).

I assume that a multiplier of 2.9 is not too bad, considering we were at 5.4. We may differ on what ratio is sustainable but I believe a larger factor on the ratio than house prices in interest rates. At the moment we are about 5.5% (around average for the last 15 years) for mortgage rates. If that were to rise to 15%, as they did after the last crash then that would have a similar effect on your repayments as the house doubling or trebling in price.

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And, as I alluded to, there is plenty of evidence to show that divorce rates are increasing and that people are waiting until they are older until they commit to relationships. That means that there are a bunch of people out there who need housing, but would, 30 years ago, probably have been buying as couples...

FTBer average age has risen from 29 to 31. Not a massive increase. I have never heard of any evidence to say people are delaying forming relationships. They are putting back the age which they start a family and the average number of children has dropped to 1.8.

In recent years there has been an increase in the number of divorces. The average span of time living together was around 7 years (from memory). However that means that they now need two houses, rather than one. They were also bringing equity to the market (7 year old house) and don't fall into the FTB'r bracket we were talking about although they will be competing for the same type of house. In the future, couples who bought close to the boom, well they may just have to get along for a little bit longer.

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Alas all I can find is an American site. Its not exactly what I was looking for but the figures are significant enough. It shows that the percentage of all families with both parents working has increased from less than 30% in 1975 to over 60% in 2005.

I don't fully understand your question and please don't come at me with human rights.

A sustainable price, in the context I used it refers to a level I believe the house could remain at. Whether the developer is making money or loosing money at that level is irrelevant for discussion. It wont effect what someone will pay for it.

If the average income is almost £23k, and averages take account of any difference in male and female then the sum of two averages could be assumed to be, on average £45k. The CML (who sees the info on every mortgage) tells us that the average income of all FTB'er households (including single and double incomes) is £43k in NI(I therefore assume there is a fairly high % of dual incomes).

I assume that a multiplier of 2.9 is not too bad, considering we were at 5.4. We may differ on what ratio is sustainable but I believe a larger factor on the ratio than house prices in interest rates. At the moment we are about 5.5% (around average for the last 15 years) for mortgage rates. If that were to rise to 15%, as they did after the last crash then that would have a similar effect on your repayments as the house doubling or trebling in price.

see link http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8468605.stm

First-time buyers

House building levels have fallen, but the proportion of households that were occupied by just one person rose from 19% in 1971 to 33% in 2009, the Halifax said.

The graphs would seem to be more relevant than ever on that basis.

Still can't work out what your point is - whatever way you look at it house prices are dearer than they were in the past, are you trying to prove something to the contrary. I'm not really interested in sustainable house prices as you define it - sounds very like financial business planning speak. I just want my children to be able to afford to live in their own modest home and have some money left over to enjoy life.

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see link http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8468605.stm

First-time buyers

House building levels have fallen, but the proportion of households that were occupied by just one person rose from 19% in 1971 to 33% in 2009, the Halifax said.

The graphs would seem to be more relevant than ever on that basis.

Still can't work out what your point is - whatever way you look at it house prices are dearer than they were in the past, are you trying to prove something to the contrary. I'm not really interested in sustainable house prices as you define it - sounds very like financial business planning speak. I just want my children to be able to afford to live in their own modest home and have some money left over to enjoy life.

link to full Halifax report

http://www.lloydsbankinggroup.com/media/pdfs/research/2010/50_Years_of_Housing_UK.pdf

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FTBer average age has risen from 29 to 31. Not a massive increase. I have never heard of any evidence to say people are delaying forming relationships. They are putting back the age which they start a family and the average number of children has dropped to 1.8.

In recent years there has been an increase in the number of divorces. The average span of time living together was around 7 years (from memory). However that means that they now need two houses, rather than one. They were also bringing equity to the market (7 year old house) and don't fall into the FTB'r bracket we were talking about although they will be competing for the same type of house. In the future, couples who bought close to the boom, well they may just have to get along for a little bit longer.

29-31 seems not massive when you say it like that... but that is more than 7% later in their lives to date. It is close to 20% if you take is in relation to their adult lives. Even if you take it over their expected lifetime, it is still 2-3%. Even the final number is a very statistically significant change.

As for relationships, you do know this. I cannot find the data for it but you can hardly deny that there are endless anecdotes about people, mostly women, who put off the marriage and family lives wishing to persue their careers.

The divorcees not falling into the FTB bracket is irrelevant. You cannot consider FTBs to be independent of all others. If the market as a whole experiences a shift, it is extremely likely that FTBs are going to respond.

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see link http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8468605.stm

First-time buyers

House building levels have fallen, but the proportion of households that were occupied by just one person rose from 19% in 1971 to 33% in 2009, the Halifax said.

The graphs would seem to be more relevant than ever on that basis.

Still can't work out what your point is - whatever way you look at it house prices are dearer than they were in the past, are you trying to prove something to the contrary. I'm not really interested in sustainable house prices as you define it - sounds very like financial business planning speak. I just want my children to be able to afford to live in their own modest home and have some money left over to enjoy life.

I don't disagree with the findings of this report at all and with life expectancy growing the number of one person residents is likely to increase. This is however not what I was talking about and I sorry I cant seem to get this across.

Put simply in the 70's there were more 'single bread winner' households than there are now. I produced evidence from the US that showed that the percentage of two person households that have two incomes has increased from around 30%(1970's) of all households to over 60%(2006) of all households. I find no reason to see how this would differ here. The figures cover all households from conception to grave. I would suggest that there would even be a higher percentage of two person households, benefiting from dual incomes in the 25 to 35 year old age group.

My point is- In the 70's the majority of house purchasers were single income households. Now the majority of house purchasers would be from a dual income household. Therefore the ratio of single income to houseprice will expand by this factor alone as the duel income becomes more dominant. Now in the apartment market I accept that there will be a higher proportion of single person purchasers than there is in houses.

In my own experience, which includes 1,000's of houses over the years, the sale of houses has mostly been to couples ( one person households generally went for apartments). Further up the housing chain there may well be stay-at-home mothers. However FTB's purchasing houses are almost always couples and almost always benfit from dual income.

I agree houses are dearer than they were in the past and even with the booms and crashes that has always been the case. I also agree houses have to be affordable. If people cant afford the houses we build - they wont sell. We differ on our perception of affordability.

Put simply if two parties (both couples) approach a house that I am selling for £125k. In one party there is one income provider, with an average income. In the other case there are two income providers with two average incomes. My point is the first party will struggle to afford the house and will, more than likely have to purchase a below average priced FTB'er house. The second party should be able to afford the house. They wont be able to afford a house twice as expensive as the first party but they should be able to afford this house.

Now if the majority of purchasers approaching me are from the first camp (single income households), I have a problem and I will find that the the average price of my FTB'er house will fall. If, on the other hand the majority of purchasers are from the second camp (ie dual income) then I will find the price of my FTB'er house should, all other things being equal, be sustained (that word again)

This has an direct effect on the ratio table. I am not saying that a duel income household, taking in £45k is the same as a single income household earning £45K as in the second case as the single income provider benfits from the husband/wife staying at home to mind the kids. However both these parties can afford a much more expensive house than the couple with one single income of £23k. Now if the porportation of dual income household (who can afford a more expensive house) rise then the average price of a FTB'er house compared to single income will stretch. If the proportion falls the ratio will contract (all other things remaining equal)

If people don't get this now - I'm quitting.

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I don't disagree with the findings of this report at all and with life expectancy growing the number of one person residents is likely to increase. This is however not what I was talking about and I sorry I cant seem to get this across.

Put simply in the 70's there were more 'single bread winner' households than there are now. I produced evidence from the US that showed that the percentage of two person households that have two incomes has increased from around 30%(1970's) of all households to over 60%(2006) of all households. I find no reason to see how this would differ here. The figures cover all households from conception to grave. I would suggest that there would even be a higher percentage of two person households, benefiting from dual incomes in the 25 to 35 year old age group.

My point is- In the 70's the majority of house purchasers were single income households. Now the majority of house purchasers would be from a dual income household. Therefore the ratio of single income to houseprice will expand by this factor alone as the duel income becomes more dominant. Now in the apartment market I accept that there will be a higher proportion of single person purchasers than there is in houses.

In my own experience, which includes 1,000's of houses over the years, the sale of houses has mostly been to couples ( one person households generally went for apartments). Further up the housing chain there may well be stay-at-home mothers. However FTB's purchasing houses are almost always couples and almost always benfit from dual income.

I agree houses are dearer than they were in the past and even with the booms and crashes that has always been the case. I also agree houses have to be affordable. If people cant afford the houses we build - they wont sell. We differ on our perception of affordability.

Put simply if two parties (both couples) approach a house that I am selling for £125k. In one party there is one income provider, with an average income. In the other case there are two income providers with two average incomes. My point is the first party will struggle to afford the house and will, more than likely have to purchase a below average priced FTB'er house. The second party should be able to afford the house. They wont be able to afford a house twice as expensive as the first party but they should be able to afford this house.

Now if the majority of purchasers approaching me are from the first camp (single income households), I have a problem and I will find that the the average price of my FTB'er house will fall. If, on the other hand the majority of purchasers are from the second camp (ie dual income) then I will find the price of my FTB'er house should, all other things being equal, be sustained (that word again)

This has an direct effect on the ratio table. I am not saying that a duel income household, taking in £45k is the same as a single income household earning £45K as in the second case as the single income provider benfits from the husband/wife staying at home to mind the kids. However both these parties can afford a much more expensive house than the couple with one single income of £23k. Now if the porportation of dual income household (who can afford a more expensive house) rise then the average price of a FTB'er house compared to single income will stretch. If the proportion falls the ratio will contract (all other things remaining equal)

If people don't get this now - I'm quitting.

This is the Nationwide data for FTB house to single income ratio (needs updated). Unfortunately only goes back to 1983.

Housepricegraphs_14887_image001.gif

Edited by shipbuilder
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29-31 seems not massive when you say it like that... but that is more than 7% later in their lives to date. It is close to 20% if you take is in relation to their adult lives. Even if you take it over their expected lifetime, it is still 2-3%. Even the final number is a very statistically significant change.

As for relationships, you do know this. I cannot find the data for it but you can hardly deny that there are endless anecdotes about people, mostly women, who put off the marriage and family lives wishing to persue their careers.

The divorcees not falling into the FTB bracket is irrelevant. You cannot consider FTBs to be independent of all others. If the market as a whole experiences a shift, it is extremely likely that FTBs are going to respond.

I am not disagreeing with the fact that people are delaying marriage and having children. You can add to that the fact that they are having fewer children. However they are not putting off having relationships and moving in together. Couples (FTB'ers) who purchase houses are perhaps less likely to be actually married and less likely to have had children than years ago.

FTB'ers, in my definition (and the Nationwides) are not bringing equity to the table. They may well have purchased before, sold and made nothing or even lost. They are coming to the table requiring 80% or 90% funding. Therefore the houseprice they are buying is directly connected to the income the household brings in. In all other cases it is the amount they are borrowing that is directly linked to the income. If a divorce has been left with nothing then, yes for all purposes he can, and will be classed as a FTB'er and the house he can afford will be directly linked to his income less any monthly payments he has to make. I deal with quite a few separation cases and generally they are bringing equity to the table. In the future as we get closer to the coupled who bought at the boom this may not be the case, and you may find that people cant afford to get divorced.

I think you are splitting hairs on the age of FTB'ers. It has changed by a few years and this may simply be a product of low numbers and the average age may well come down next year. If people put off buying a house because of the boom/crash then they are obviously going to be a few years older when they do return.It is the volumes that is important and we all know this, whilst rising is well down on the past.

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I don't disagree with the findings of this report at all and with life expectancy growing the number of one person residents is likely to increase. This is however not what I was talking about and I sorry I cant seem to get this across.

Put simply in the 70's there were more 'single bread winner' households than there are now. I produced evidence from the US that showed that the percentage of two person households that have two incomes has increased from around 30%(1970's) of all households to over 60%(2006) of all households. I find no reason to see how this would differ here. The figures cover all households from conception to grave. I would suggest that there would even be a higher percentage of two person households, benefiting from dual incomes in the 25 to 35 year old age group.

My point is- In the 70's the majority of house purchasers were single income households. Now the majority of house purchasers would be from a dual income household. Therefore the ratio of single income to houseprice will expand by this factor alone as the duel income becomes more dominant. Now in the apartment market I accept that there will be a higher proportion of single person purchasers than there is in houses.

In my own experience, which includes 1,000's of houses over the years, the sale of houses has mostly been to couples ( one person households generally went for apartments). Further up the housing chain there may well be stay-at-home mothers. However FTB's purchasing houses are almost always couples and almost always benfit from dual income.

I agree houses are dearer than they were in the past and even with the booms and crashes that has always been the case. I also agree houses have to be affordable. If people cant afford the houses we build - they wont sell. We differ on our perception of affordability.

Put simply if two parties (both couples) approach a house that I am selling for £125k. In one party there is one income provider, with an average income. In the other case there are two income providers with two average incomes. My point is the first party will struggle to afford the house and will, more than likely have to purchase a below average priced FTB'er house. The second party should be able to afford the house. They wont be able to afford a house twice as expensive as the first party but they should be able to afford this house.

Now if the majority of purchasers approaching me are from the first camp (single income households), I have a problem and I will find that the the average price of my FTB'er house will fall. If, on the other hand the majority of purchasers are from the second camp (ie dual income) then I will find the price of my FTB'er house should, all other things being equal, be sustained (that word again)

This has an direct effect on the ratio table. I am not saying that a duel income household, taking in £45k is the same as a single income household earning £45K as in the second case as the single income provider benfits from the husband/wife staying at home to mind the kids. However both these parties can afford a much more expensive house than the couple with one single income of £23k. Now if the porportation of dual income household (who can afford a more expensive house) rise then the average price of a FTB'er house compared to single income will stretch. If the proportion falls the ratio will contract (all other things remaining equal)

If people don't get this now - I'm quitting.

Quote - My point is- In the 70's the majority of house purchasers were single income households. Now the majority of house purchasers would be from a dual income household.

Just because you believe something to be true, doesn't necessarily mean its true - the Halifax data tells us something completely different.

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at danger of pointing out the bleedin obvious.... people buying later is more to do with housing being expensive, and it taking longer for those who don't want a liar loan to save a deposit and get to a salary position to afford the mortgage - dual income or otherwise!!

i do think BVI observes the reality correctly though, you can't deny the increase in dual incomes which are bound to affect average prices, but you also cant deny the associated costs such as needing second cars and childcare costs which offset the gain. edit to add: i would be interested to know what first caused the other - high housing costs causes requirement for dual income, or dual income accompanied by other factors pushes prices up - of course they're now almost self perpetuating.

i wouldn't bother arguing over 'that' graph, its a simple chart that serves a single purpose, its also a perfect example of the tendency to seek and explain very complex patterns simply, and in doing so misses a host of critical factors... like credit availability, actual debt service cost and ability to pay.

Edited by eyes wide open
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at danger of pointing out the bleedin obvious.... people buying later is more to do with housing being expensive, and it taking longer for those who don't want a liar loan to save a deposit and get to a salary position to afford the mortgage - dual income or otherwise!!

i do think BVI observes the reality correctly though, you can't deny the increase in dual incomes which are bound to affect average prices, but you also cant deny the associated costs such as needing second cars and childcare costs which offset the gain. edit to add: i would be interested to know what first caused the other - high housing costs causes requirement for dual income, or dual income accompanied by other factors pushes prices up - of course they're now almost self perpetuating.

i wouldn't bother arguing over 'that' graph, its a simple chart that serves a single purpose, its also a perfect example of the tendency to seek and explain very complex patterns simply, and in doing so misses a host of critical factors... like credit availability, actual debt service cost and ability to pay.

Yes, this is getting boring and going nowhere.

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I am not disagreeing with the fact that people are delaying marriage and having children. You can add to that the fact that they are having fewer children. However they are not putting off having relationships and moving in together. Couples (FTB'ers) who purchase houses are perhaps less likely to be actually married and less likely to have had children than years ago.

FTB'ers, in my definition (and the Nationwides) are not bringing equity to the table. They may well have purchased before, sold and made nothing or even lost. They are coming to the table requiring 80% or 90% funding. Therefore the houseprice they are buying is directly connected to the income the household brings in. In all other cases it is the amount they are borrowing that is directly linked to the income. If a divorce has been left with nothing then, yes for all purposes he can, and will be classed as a FTB'er and the house he can afford will be directly linked to his income less any monthly payments he has to make. I deal with quite a few separation cases and generally they are bringing equity to the table. In the future as we get closer to the coupled who bought at the boom this may not be the case, and you may find that people cant afford to get divorced.

I think you are splitting hairs on the age of FTB'ers. It has changed by a few years and this may simply be a product of low numbers and the average age may well come down next year. If people put off buying a house because of the boom/crash then they are obviously going to be a few years older when they do return.It is the volumes that is important and we all know this, whilst rising is well down on the past.

To be honest, I am unsure quite where this discussion is going.

You do rather casually state that people are not putting off moving in together (which I presume you mean to be jointly purchasing a property). Well I can as easily counter that with anecdote - both my parents and grandparents are pretty clear on the fact that a young woman going out there and purchasing on her own was just never done. It is now.

The definition you provide of an FTB is of course highly debateable, a huge number of these people bring other people's equity into the mix. From an economic perspective, I suspect an FTB is better defined as the class of buyer who introduces most debt to the market. I really dislike the glossing over of this detail for the (typically) very minor discussion of 'equity'.

The age of purchase may well be splitting hairs but it is a complex factor which, to my knowledge, really has not been fully investigated. In boom you would expect people to buy sooner, not later. It is in their benefit to do so. But then costs are higher so then they cant actually do this so they have to wait. Then we have the factor (I believe) we are discussing, the joint purchase, this should also push down the age. So we have an increasing age inspite of a boom and inspite of joint incomes (apparently) being a factor. The implication here is, of course, that the joint factor has likely been quite strongly correllated to the boom and HPI. If there is even the remotest truth in that, to suggest a paradigm shift in purchasing habits would be a highly flawed conclusion. At present, there simply is insufficient data to propose that the joint factor is separable within the mathematical analysis.

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At last, Thanks EWO. I will leave it at that.

Dual incomes ARE bound to influence prices. Then again, property TV shows demonstrating huge profilts are bound to influence prices. Loose lending practices are bound to influence property prices. Peer pressure is bound to influence prices. Parental pressure to 'get onto the ladder' is bound to influence prices. Increases in numbers in higher education raises expectations and could easily be correllated to house price rises. But.... so what?

My contention is that the effect of dual incomes cannot be assumed to be a rock steady foundation for the market. People do it to find extra funds when prices are such that they need it. If prices are lower and the market is cautious, it is simply not necessary to be borrowing on a joint income. Maybe this will yield a greated difference between boom and bust periods but nothing stated so far comes close to suggesting that this factor would warrant a shifting of the underlying trend.

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