Ownership decline will hit elderly care

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GEMMA HARLE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, TENETLIME

Long-term care for the elderly has been high on the national news agenda. The fact is that we have to find a way to fund better care.

The explosion in buy-to-let and the private rental sector is to the detriment of first-time buyers.

In the short term lenders, brokers and networks all prosper from a flourishing buy-to-let market but the lack of investment in first-time buyers will eventually catch up with us.

On average, for every first-time buyer in the market at least another four moves can occur.

If home ownership ceases to be the predominant model of asset wealth we will be depriving future generations of the ability to fund their later years.

Housing is unique in the UK as a performing asset even when it comes under pressure. The manifold reasons for its success make it incumbent on our political leaders to ensure this resource is available to as many as possible to fund their care when they are older.

The alternative is that we adopt a more European approach with a fraction of the tax regime required to fund this tsunami of demand on long-term health care.

On current evidence, policy makers had better not assume the market will come to their rescue.