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Owner occupation rate stands still for fifth year

Data released by the ministry of housing, communities and local government shows that England’s owner occupation rate in 2017 – 2018 was static for the fifth year in a row, climbing a single per cent.

The data, found in the English Housing Survey, states that this equates to 14.8m, or 64 per cent of the 23.2m households in the country, a proportion it has stayed at since 2013 – 2014. The highest figure recorded was 71 per cent, in 2003.

Imla executive director Kate Davies says that this is indicative of affordability issues: “Although mortgage rates remain low, which should support borrower affordability, high house prices and regulatory constraints on lending continue to represent barriers for borrowers wanting to move onto or up through the housing ladder. As such, Imla expects a relatively flat year for mortgage lending growth in 2019.”

The survey also shows that has been a significant shift in the composition of the market.

In 2016 – 2017, outright owners made up 34 per cent of households while those with a mortgage comprised 28 per cent.

In the latest figures, 2017 – 2018, outright owners still made up 34 per cent households but the proportion of those who had bought with a mortgage increased to 30 per cent, narrowing the gap between the two.

The report goes on to show that the proportion of 35 – 44-year-old owner occupiers has increased after more than a decade of falls, with 57 per cent of this cohort having a place to call home, up from 52 per cent in the previous year.

Taking a longer-term view, the proportion of people in this age group in the private rented sector has grown from 13 per cent in 2007 – 2008 to 28 per cent in 2017 – 2018.

Considering the private rented sector, the data shows that the proportion of households under this category continues to hold steady as it has done since 2013 – 2014, at approximately 19 per cent, after doubling in size since 2002.

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