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In England, 23% fewer young adults own their own homes than 10 years ago

Young conference goers listen to the schools presentation on the third day of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, northern England October 4, 2011
Reuters/Phil Noble
It’s hard to be young.
  • Cassie Werber
By Cassie Werber

Cassie writes about the world of work.

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Young people in England­ are a lot less likely to buy a home and more reliant on the rental market than they were even a decade ago. In the last ten years, the proportion of people aged 25 to 34 living in rented homes has more than doubled, from 21% in 2003 to 2004, to 48% in 2013 to 2014.

Home ownership in the age group dropped from 59% to 36% in the same period, according to a yearly English Housing Survey (pdf).

The trend is most obvious in London, where until recently prices were rising more than in the rest of the country.

Young people who have yet to find a foothold in the market are particularly affected­ by rising house prices. Often with lower-paid jobs and less money saved than older buyers, they struggle to fulfill all the necessary requirements—like finding a deposit and proving to banks that they’ll be able to make their mortgage payments.

In the fiscal year of April 2013 to March 2014, 48% of all households aged 25-34 rented from private landlords, up from 45% the previous year, the survey said. The number living in housing that was government-subsidized or designated ”affordable” through private schemes rose 15% year-on-year.

The changes are most stark in London. The last ten years have seen a marked shift away from buying and toward renting. Prices have risen steeply in that time, even compared with the rest of the country.

UK house prices have shot up over 24% in the last five years—in a climate where they have plummeted across much of Europe. Numbers of those buying with a mortgage have fallen across all the highest-buying age groups over the period, so while the young are most starkly affected, home purchasing is dropping across the board.

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