Decline in home desire

The recession, coupled with high house prices and a lack of mortgage lending mean that across swathes of British cities, thousands of adults have given up on owning a home, according to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).

In Cardiff, 30% of adults no longer wish to own property, compared to 27.7% in Manchester and 25% in both Brighton and Belfast. At the other end of the table, just 10.3% of adults in Southampton said that they did not want to own property, while 11.1% of Londoners agreed. Nationally, 16% of adults say that they have no desire to own a property.

Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents, said: "The recession has left many people feeling that they cannot get onto the property ladder.

"But the recession alone cannot shoulder the blame. The Government has so far refused to create a level playing field for house-hunters by reforming stamp duty, a tax on aspiration.

"These figures show the danger of that sort of approach - as many people in British cities are simply giving up.

"Likewise, the major lenders are not doing enough to help responsible people borrow appropriately to finance house purchasing.

"These figures provide a snapshot of the state of the nation. They can be turned around and the NAEA would strongly urge the Government and the lenders to do more to harness the emerging indicators of recovery seen across the housing market.

"It will be a sad day if any British man or woman gives up on acquiring their castle."