UK home ownership levels fall by half in two decades among young people

UK home ownership levels fall by half in two decades among young people [Photo: Bartłomiej Szewczyk via iStock]

The rise of generation rent and a trend towards becoming tenants rather than homeowners, either by necessity or choice, has meant a drastic fall in ownership levels among young Brits across the last few years, according to a new report released this week. 

Data from the Local Government Association (LGA) has shown that in the past two decades, there has been a halving in the volume of people aged 25 who own the property that they live in. 

It said that in 1997, the proportion of people aged 25 who owned their own property was 46 per cent. However, in 2017, this has fallen markedly, and now sits at around just 20 per cent of people of this age. 

There are two main reasons for this fall in ownership levels nationwide. On one hand, it has become harder and more expensive to be able to get onto the housing ladder in that period, leading many young people to rent. But it's also true that renting has simply become more popular in the same period, and many young people now prefer to rent rather than buy a home thanks to the freedom it offers. 

The report also shows that the number of people who own their own home in general has dropped in the last few years. Between 2008 and now, there has been a fall of some 4.4 per cent in the number of homeowners. In the same period, the volume of tenants nationwide has climbed by around 5.1 per cent. 

However, the LGA said there are other problems, such as a lack of housing stock, keeping people from getting onto the property ladder. 

"Our figures show just how wide the generational home ownership gap is in this country. A shortage of houses is a top concern for people as homes are too often unavailable, unaffordable and not appropriate for the different needs in our communities," said Martin Tett, LGA housing spokesman.

"The housing crisis is complex and is forcing difficult choices on families, distorting places, and hampering growth. But there is a huge opportunity, as investment in building the right homes in the right places has massive wider benefits for people and places," he explained.