Home ownership falls to the lowest level for nearly 20 years

Official figures have recently revealed that home ownership has dropped to its lowest level for nearly 20 years.

The recent research shows that, particularly for the young, they may never be able to afford to buy their own home.

According to Labour’s English Housing Survey, only 67.9% of English households have been able to buy their own home, this is the lowest figure since 1991.

For many first time buyers who are unable to afford to buy a property, they are forced to rent.   According to the survey an extra one million households in England are now privately renting.  This takes the numbers who are privately renting to around three million.

With a combination of rising house prices, lower salaries and the difficulty in finding competitive mortgages buyers fear that things are only going to get worse.

Grant Shapps, Conservative Housing Spokesman commented that under Labour home ownership is falling with the lowest number of first time buyers since 1974 and with fewer homes being built at any time since 1946.

Experts have warned that with the level of home ownership dropping, more people will have to accept that owning property is a dream that will not become a reality.  Although nearly 60% of people who rent privately have said that they would hope to be in a position to buy their own property in the future.

This recent research comes after Labour’s Housing Minister, John Healey, was criticised for saying that he was ‘not sure’ that a fall in home ownership was ‘such a bad thing’.  He added that ‘Fundamentally, we need more affordable homes.’

Mr Healey went on to say that Labour would invest more than £7.5billion over the next two years in order to be able to build more affordable homes to buy or rent, and also to help first time buyers onto the housing ladder.

February 2010