Reverse the Decline in Homeownership!

We need to increase the supply of housing to let more people realise their dream of owning their home

We launched this campaign with the  publication of our first report on the decline in home ownership on November 16 2012. Read “The Death of a Dream” in full here 

We like to see ourselves as a nation of homeowners, and homeownership is something we nearly all aspire to. Surveys show a consistent 86% who want to own the roof over our head. For many, it is the mark of adulthood. All mainstream political parties support homeownership.

But homeownership in the UK is in steady decline, and is now at the lowest level for decades. The proportion of homes that are owner occupied is down to around 65%. It is predicted to reach 60% in the next few years. For many young people, homeownership has become an impossible dream. The average age of first time buyers is 33 and rising.

The causes of this are many. But fundamentally it is because the number of new homes hasn’t kept pace with the number of new households, and as a result high house prices have made homebuying unaffordable for many.

The economic and financial consequences are serious and wide ranging. Many young people are having their dreams, and self-esteem, shattered. Research shows that people are happier owning their own home, rather than renting. Many adults are being forced to live with their parents even though they don’t want to – putting severe stress on family relationships. More limited homeownership makes us a more unequal society. With fewer people building up equity in their homes, fewer will have a big enough financial cushion for old age, putting strain on welfare systems.

The government must do all that it can to reverse the decline in homeownership. This means it must:

  • Increase the supply of new homes, by removing barriers to housebuilding
  • Increase the proportion of homes that are owned rather than rented, by making it easier for people to buy homes

Have you have a story to tell about not being able to buy your own home? If so, we would like to hear from you – please email us in confidence at hello@hoa.org.uk

If you want to leave a comment on this, please do so below

 


5 comments on “Reverse the Decline in Homeownership!

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  1. Thirty years ago, a teacher or policeman could expect to own their own home. Not any more. Why?

  2. People need a wider choice of home ownership, from tents on sites, to boats on water, to caravans on sites, to cabins on farmland, to cabins in gardens, to shared houses, to houses on their own; with flexible options from young adulthood, family rearing age, to retired active age to old infirm age.

    Economically ownership of each option, creates stable finance and assets which are transferable.

    Farmland has to be used more wisely. It not only provides food, but it can provide jobs, homes, social facilities, relaxing landscapes, wildlife habitats and oxygen production – all in a sustainable, planet preserving way.

    The fixed idea of green-belts which do nothing but look good and raise a few sheep or cows is unsustainable, humanitarianly cruel, economically inept and socially immoral.

    I do hope my website can help to sort out the home ownership crisis.

    Regards to all. Richard Sibley

  3. I paid private rents for over 15 years and they were crippling. I paid on average £575 a month yet people I know paying mortgages on bigger homes than the one bed flats I rented paid £360 a month ! Something I could manage easily. However, I couldn’t save for a deposit as the rents were over 50% of my wages.
    I even thought of buying one of those static mobile homes as they’re around £50K but nobody will give you a mortgage on one of those.
    So I ended up sitting on a council/housing association list for almost 5 years and I was finally lucky and landed a Housing Association bungalow in a lovely little village. However, I’m in my 40’s now so I’ve given up on owning my own home altogether. It’s disappointing.

  4. Home ownership is limited by affordability and it is rampant house price inflation that has caused the problems of today, both economic and social. Encouraging or enabling individuals to borrow greater amounts is no solution to the issue of home ownership.

    In a debt funded and tax incentivised housing market, house price inflation is driven by the speculative nature of buying and selling houses and specifically the pursuit of tax free windfalls through house price inflation. Buy to let has greatly exacerbated the problem by encouraging property to be used for purely financial investment.

    Until the mindset of expecting unearned, tax free windfalls through house price inflation can be addressed, we will continue to be afflicted by a highly damaging boom and bust cycle in the housing market. Current government efforts to support inflated prices will ultimately not help home ownership and will cause far greater long term damage to the economy and society.

    Are the Homeowners Alliance brave enough to take this on?

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