Home ownership levels crash to 30-year low


English home ownership has crashed to 64 per cent, its lowest level in 30 years, according to the Resolution Foundation.

The think tank says home ownership hit its peak in 2003 at an average of 71 per cent of the population.

The main reasons for the fall are that incomes have not kept pace with house prices and high LTV mortgages are now hard to get, the company says.

The firm also says that affordability pressures are not an exclusive hallmark of the London and South East markets, as some believe.

The foundation says Greater Manchester has seen the largest fall of any major city in the period, from 72 per cent to 58 per cent.

Resolution Foundation policy analyst Stephen Clarke says: “London has a well-known and fully blown housing crisis, but the struggle to buy a home is just as big a problem in cities across the North of England.

“The chances of owning a home have fallen fastest in Greater Manchester over the last decade, though the Leeds and Sheffield city areas have also experienced sharp drops.

“These drops are more than a simple source of frustration for the millions of people who aspire to own their home. The shift to renting privately can reduce current living standards and future wealth, with implications for individuals and the state.

“We cannot allow other cities to edge towards the kind of housing crisis that London has been saddled with.”

The average proportion of private renters rose from 11 per cent in 2003 to 19 per cent in 2015.

Aldermore Group mortgages managing director Charles Haresnape says: “Today’s research reflects the changing nature of the British housing market and only highlights the important role that private landlords play in meeting the needs of tenants. Britain now has the fourth lowest level of home ownership in the EU after it was overtaken by France for the first time since records began 20 years ago.

“As our own figures show, initiatives such as the Help to Buy Scheme have benefited first time buyers from across the country, not just in London and the South East.

“However, the number of properties in Britain worth £1m or more is set to more than triple by 2030, and if the Government is keen to support homeownership then meeting and exceeding housebuilding targets must be a priority for the new housing minister.”