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Homeowner Survey 2019: Top UK Housing Concerns Revealed

Our Homeowner Survey 2019, now in its seventh year and polled by YouGov, gives a state of the nation report on the biggest concerns and latest trends affecting UK homeowners and those keen to own. This year's report covers everything from the challenges faced by generation rent, new homes, leasehold problems, obstacles to improving and how our homes can enhance our mental health.

Homeowner Survey 2019

Our top housing concerns

The Homeowner Survey 2019, sponsored by BLP insurance and takes a look at the latest national and regional housing issues. It also looks at the conditions affecting the housing market. Much of it has made headlines so far but it is now being released as a full and comprehensive package.

Difficulties for aspiring first-time buyers at 6 year high

The Homeowner Survey 2019 reveals the number one UK housing issue remains the difficulty of getting on the property ladder. This has consistently been the top housing concern since 2014. 87% of UK adults and 91% of aspiring first-time buyers this year say the ability to get on the housing ladder is a serious problem. That is the highest level since tracking began 6 years ago. Meanwhile, 85% say saving for a deposit and 82% say house prices are serious housing problems.

Almost 6 in 10 renters who want to own are convinced it is just a pipe dream. So, what do renters think of schemes intended to help them get on the ladder? Almost two thirds (64%) of renters think that the Help to Buy equity loan scheme is a good idea as it addresses the major hurdle of saving a deposit. While, less than half of renters (46%) think Shared Ownership is a good alternative to renting.

Housing quality fastest rising concern 

The fastest rising issue in the Homeowner Survey 2019 is the quality of Britons homes. Up 6% from 2018, two thirds (63%) are worried about the quality of our homes. The ability to get a mortgage and repay a mortgage, though down from previous years is still a pressing issue for nearly two-thirds (64%) of UK adults.

New homes quality – snagging retention campaign

With the quality of new homes in the spotlight, there is overwhelming support for a snagging retention fee.  Almost 9 in 10 (87%) new build homeowners support a system to withhold funds from house builders until they rectify faults. In addition, only 57% of new build homeowners say they felt their warranty provider fulfilled their responsibility to resolve disputes with builder in first 2 years and put right structural problems after 2 years. The snagging process is the least satisfactory step of the new homes buying process. While the most satisfactory step is the new homes mortgage process.

Leasehold problems mount

60% of Britons now say the leasehold system is a serious problem, up 18% from 42% five years ago. Most leaseholders (54%) have experienced problems. The high cost of works and management fees top their list (cited by 26% of leaseholders).  More than one in ten (12%) complain of the complexity and high costs to extend their lease.

Obstacles preventing home improvement plans 

Our look at the barriers to home improvements finds 8 out of 10 homeowners hit a brick wall with renovation plans and a third pay cash to avoid VAT. The most common obstacle to improving is finding a reliable builder (42%).  VAT is a real barrier with almost a quarter (23%) of homeowners deterred from carrying out home improvements because of the cost of VAT. Nearly a third (31%) of UK homeowners pay cash to avoid the cost of VAT on home repairs and improvements.

Our homes and our mental-health

87% of UK homeowners and renters say aspects of their home contribute to their positive mental health. Having a well maintained outside space polled the most important factor for positive mental health (58%).  Find out what else you can do to improve your home and mental health.

See the full survey results for a detailed view of the biggest housing concerns

Paula Higgins, Chief Executive of the HomeOwners Alliance:

“Problems in our housing market have reached a crisis level. Government needs to rethink its approach by thinking more holistically and longer-term.”

“We crave a stable functioning housing market that delivers for everyone. From those struggling to get on to the ladder to those who find themselves at the whim of the leasehold system. Our annual survey shows more first time buyers than ever before reporting their struggle to get on the ladder. It also  demonstrates how government and industry is failing a whole generation. Our survey shows that although we are building more, we are not building better.”

“And it also tells us that we cannot underestimate the importance of people’s homes – they effect everything from feeling secure and safe to our well being.”

Follow our HomeOwners Alliance campaigns

Here at the HomeOwners Alliance we campaign for government and industry to give a better deal to homeowners. Our aim is to help more people to realise their dream of owning their own home, and to make buying, selling, managing and improving a home less difficult and expensive.

We campaign on issues of concern raised by our members and in our annual Homeowner Survey. We get change by publishing research, speaking out in the media and lobbying ministers, MPs, government officials, regulators and industry participants. We also work closely with other groups who share our aims.

As the main consumer group for homeowners in the UK, we have been extremely successful in getting change. Find out what successes we have had and follow our current campaigns to see what else we’re championing this year.

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