First rise in young families owning homes since 1980s

Homeownership among young families is rising for the first time in 30 years but is still well behind the levels of the 1980s. 

The Times newspaper has drawn upon research produced by the Resolution Foundation which showed that the number of homeowning families where the oldest member is aged between 25 and 34 has risen by 3 per cent since dropping to 25 per cent in 2016.

Analysts said that this was the equivalent of an extra 190,000 young families owning a home this Christmas. However, they said that if homeownership levels had not slipped from their 1980s peak, an additional 1.4 million more young families would be homeowners today. The level is less than half that of the late 1980s, say researchers.

Easing credit conditions and a slowdown in house price growth has made owning a home more achievable for young families.

The average house price rose by 2.7 per cent to £231,000 in the year to October, according to government data this week. That was the lowest annual rate of growth since July 2013 when it was 2.3 per cent. The Resolution Foundation said that renting would continue to be the norm for the majority of young people, especially in Britain’s biggest cities.

Meanwhile the research shows that the proportion of young families who rent privately has risen from 9 per cent in the late 1980s to 34 per cent.

Shared housing has also become more common. About 12 per cent of young families are now sharing with others in the private rented sector, an increase from 3 per cent in the late 1980s.

Less than a fifth of young families in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Brighton and Birmingham own a property.

In contrast nearly half of young families in areas like South Lanarkshire, south Hampshire and central Bedfordshire already own, which the think tank said showed that the housing divide was not just between London and everywhere else, but between cities and rural areas.

The Foundation published research earlier in the month which showed that parental wealth had become the most important factor in determining whether young people could gain a foothold on the property ladder since the 2008 financial crash.

According to an analyst at the Foundation, “High house prices and sluggish wage growth have meant that being able to buy a home of their own is almost impossible for many young people without access to the Bank of Mum and Dad.

“In fact, our housing crisis is so big that what your parents own is becoming as important as how much you earn when it comes to owning your own home,” he said.

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Julian Kaye Dip PFS

Financial Planner