A new report by the Resolution Foundation think-tank, discussed by The Guardian in August 2016, has revealed that the level of home ownership in England is at the lowest level for over 10 years.
In April 2003, 71% of households owned their home. By February this year, according to the Resolution Foundation, this had decreased to 64%.
In the early 2000s, many lenders offered no-deposit mortgages and the average house price was £122,748, according to Nationwide Building Society. The Guardian explains that as property prices rose and higher deposits were required, many people found it more difficult to afford to buy a home, and home ownership dropped.
Lindsay Judge of the Resolution Foundation said:
“House prices began to outpace earnings in the early 2000. When the market fell so did earnings – house prices began to come down but so did people’s pay, or it was stagnating at best, so few people were able to make the most of falling prices.”
The report adds that the fall in home ownership has helped the rental sector, with private rent levels rising from 11% to 19% of households in the time between 2003 and 2015. If the trend continues, then the buy-to-let property market will expand and there will be a high demand for commercial mortgages to finance property investments.
A spokesman for the government’s Department for Communities and Local Government said that more than 300,000 people had bought their first homes through government schemes since 2010, but he recognised that more needed to be done by the government to stimulate home ownership.