Home ownership continues decline

Home ownership in England has fallen to a 26-year low, according to new Government figures.

The latest figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) found that 14.3 million people (65 per cent) were homeowners, the lowest level since 1988.

The English Housing Survey also found that private and social renters were on the increase, with four million (18 per cent) private renters and 3.7 million (17 per cent) renting social housing.

This is the first time that the private rental sector has overtaken the social sector to become the UK's second largest tenure.

Other key figures:

  • 33 per cent of homeowners were buying with a mortgage and 33 per cent owned outright
  • In 2012-13, 61 per cent of private renters and 23 per cent of social renters expected to buy a property in the future.

The DCLG said that the gradual decline in home ownership was "driven by a number of factors; in the late 1990s rent controls were removed, and assured shorthold tenancies became the standard, giving greater flexibility in the length of tenancies."

Ian Fletcher, director of policy at the British Property Federation, said:

"The news that the private rented sector has become the second largest tenure in England underlines the importance of this sector in the housing recovery.

"As economic conditions have taken their toll over the last few years we can see that the needs of a generation have changed, and that the housing market needs to respond to this."