Reverse the Decline in Homeownership!
We need to increase the supply of housing to let more people realise their dream of owning their homeWe 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