Rental sector increases as ‘young adult owner’ numbers plunge

Analysis of the government’s latest English Housing Survey figures shows that there’s been a further decline in the home ownership rate to 62.9 per cent – the lowest recorded since 1985.

The data also reveals that just 38 per cent of young adults – those between 25 and 34 – own their homes. This is actually slightly larger a proportion than in 2013 but still represents a reverse from a decade ago when this age sector typically comprised of first time buyers.

The data comes in an analysis of the survey’s findings by the Nationwide building society.

“While the last couple of years have seen a slight improvement in the proportion of young adults owning their own home this remains considerably lower than was the case 10 years ago. The data also reveals a significant fall in home ownership rates amongst those aged 35 to 44 to just 56 per cent, down from 74 per cent in 2006” explains Robert Gardner, chief economist at the Nationwide.

“The counterpart to this trend has been robust growth in the private rental sector, with 20 per cent of households in England now privately rented – that’s a record high, up from 12 per cent 10 years ago. The number of privately rented households has increased by more than 75 per cent over the past decade and now stands at 4.5 million” he says.

However, he says that while it’s no surprise that many younger people have to or choose to rent, over the past decade the number of privately rented households in the 45 to 54 age group has nearly tripled to around 700,000.

“It’s unclear what is driving the increase in private renting amongst older households” says Gardner.

“However, it’s interesting to note that these age groups have also seen a decline in the proportion of people owning with a mortgage and an increase in those owning their homes outright. This suggests a growing divide between property ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’.”

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