UK Construction Media

New report shows “lost generation” regarding home ownership

News   •   Nov 16, 2016 15:30 GMT

A new report shows first time buyers need more support to prevent a further decline in home ownership.

A study by one of the UK’s biggest housebuilders has said first-time buyers need more support in order to get onto the housing ladder and halt the decline in home ownership.

The Redfern Review said that long-term building target were also required “kneejerk” policy moves.

It revealed that over the last 12 years, home ownership rates in England fell from 71% to 64%, with the steepest drop among young people. Labour commissioned the report, saying it showed a “lost generation”.

Pete Redfern, Chief Executive of Taylor Wimpey, led the review which revealed that among 25-34 year olds, the rate of home ownership fell from 59% in 2003 to 37% in 2015.

Factors for the serious decline in home ownership for the younger generation include the lower incomes for younger people since the financial crash in 2008, as well as their more limited access to mortgage finance.

Mr Redfern said that schemes like Help to Buy, which allows house hunters to pay smaller deposits when purchasing their home, should be targeted more exclusively to first time buyers.

“We must focus on supporting today’s younger generation and creating a genuine long-term housing strategy independent of short-term party politics if we are to improve the position in a sustainable way for future generations,” he said.

Labour said the review revealed “a lost generation unable to get on the housing ladder”, and that the “squeeze on young people” was at the heart of the decline in the number of home-owners.

Shadow housing secretary John Healey, who commissioned the report, said: “The shrinking opportunity for young people on ordinary incomes to own a home is at the centre of the growing gulf between housing haves and housing have-nots.”

In order to tackle the housing shortage, the Redfern Review also called for 10 and 20 year building targets, agreed by all political parties.

Recent government figures show that the number of new homes being built has increased 11% in a year, and that home building in England was at its strongest level in eight years.

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