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Census data reveals drop in home ownership

The number of homes owned with a mortgage dropped 6 per cent between 2001 and 2011, down from 8.4m to 7.6m, according to data from the 2011 census.

Over the same period of time, the number of homes owned outright rose 1 per cent, from 6.4m to 7.2m.

The largest change is to the private rental market. The number of people renting from a private landlord or letting agency rose 7 per cent, from 1.9m to reach 3.6m by 2011.

There were notably fewer people renting from the council in 2011, marking a 4 per cent fall in numbers from 2.9m in 2011 to 2.2m.

Legal and General Mortgage Club managing director Ben Thompson says: “Homeownership as a percentage has decreased over the last decade for a variety of reasons. Firstly, through the early noughties we saw rising house prices – whilst this was good for many existing homeowners it merely raised the bar too high for some first time buyers. We also saw Stamp Duty levels rise significantly relative to historical levels.

“In 2007 we saw the onset of the credit crunch, and in the years that have followed, mortgage availability has fallen, and in particular underwriting criteria has tightened markedly – in short, for many, it is near impossible to secure a mortgage. Somewhat perversely, house prices have fallen over the last 5 years, and so whilst in theory that should have eased conditions for those wanting to buy, it has merely reduced the likelihood of existing homeowners moving on to their next home, creating a shortage of homes at the bottom of the housing chains.”

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