30 Aug 2011

‘Build more homes to avoid housing crisis’ – report

Home ownership will slump to the lowest levels since the mid-1980s, according to a report by a group representing housing associations.

Home ownership levels may drop to their lowest since the mid 1980s according to a housing charity (Getty)

The National Housing Federation has warned the housing market will be plunged into an unprecedented crisis, as it also forecast steep rises in the private rental sector and a house price boom.

The federation, which represents housing associations in England, says huge deposits, combined with high house prices and strict lending criteria, have pushed home ownership into decline.

In England, the proportion of people living in owner-occupied homes will fall from a peak of 72.5 per cent in 2001 to 63.8 per cent in 2021, the federation forecast.

Not enough homes

A majority of people living in London will be renting by 2021, with the number of owner-occupiers falling from 51.6 per cent in 2010 to 44 per cent by 2021.

The federation blamed the bleak outlook on an under-supply of homes in the UK. Federation Chief Executive David Orr said: “With home ownership in decline, rents rising rapidly and social housing waiting lists at a record high, it’s time to face up to the fact that we have a totally dysfunctional housing market.

“Home ownership is increasingly becoming the preserve of the wealthy and, in parts of the country like London, the very wealthy.

“And for the millions locked out of the property market the options are becoming increasingly limited as demand sends rents rising sharply and social homes waiting lists remain at record levels.”