Home ownership hits lowest level since 1980s
Home ownership in England has hit its lowest level since 1988, as people struggle to find the money to climb onto the property ladder.
According to the English Housing Survey released by the Department of Communities and Local Government, the proportion of owner-occupiers in the country slumped to 66% in 2011, only marginally higher than the record low of 65.7% recorded in 1988.
The number of owner-occupiers has been in decline since 2003 when it hit 70.9%.
Difficulties for first-time buyers
The survey also revealed that just 10% of homeowners are now under the age of 35, highlighting the difficulties facing first-time buyers.
Meanwhile, the percentage of people who privately rent has grown to 16.5%, up from 10% a decade ago. The number of people in England now living in council or housing association homes has also risen and now stands at 17.5%.
The changing mortgage market is believed to have contributed to the changes in the way we live. The number of buy-to-let mortgages available has soared over the past decade, whereas lending to first-time buyers has fallen significantly since the credit crunch.
The catch-all term applied to investors who buy properties with the sole intention of letting them to tenants rather than living in them themselves, with the proceeds from the let usually used for the repayment of the mortgage. Buy-to-let investors have to take out specialised mortgages that carry higher interest rates and require a much bigger deposit than a standard mortgage. Other expenditure can include legal fees, income tax (on the rental profits you make), capital gains tax (if you sell the property) and “void” periods when the property is unlet.