The latest English Housing Survey report is out today with the highlights of their findings for 2016-17.
The private rented sector has continued to grow. The population now stands at 4.7m households, with 27% of families renting from a private landlord.
It is once again the largest tenure in London (if you separate outright and mortgaged ownership), and its doubling outside the capital in the past decade illustrates the national impact the housing crisis has had.
Most debates around housing focus on young adults, the drastic fall in their rate of home ownership and ways to boost the number of first time buyers.
Far less attention, however, is given to the vast numbers of renters who are already too old to get a mortgage and face a lifetime of renting instead. As more of them reach retirement age, the state will start paying more of their rent, and faces enormous costs unless it makes some fundamental changes to the housing market. Because politicians only operate with 5-year horizons, few are fretting about the implications of lifetime renting.
But we are, and today we publish a report co-authored with David Adler of Oxford University: Life in the Rental Market.Read more
Just 62.9% of England's population owns their home - the lowest proportion since 1985. And the private rented population now stands at 4.5m households, up on last year and bigger than in 1961, when slum landlords like Peter Rachman were making tenants' lives a misery.
At this rate, there will be more private renters than mortgage holders in just five years' time. It's already the largest tenure in London.
Last month the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) released its report “Lessons from Germany: Tenant power in the rental market”. It examines the relative strength of protection for German renters, and how these benefits might be brought across to England.Read more
A version of this article appeared on Inside Housing.
Last Tuesday, the Resolution Foundation dominated the headlines and airwaves with its report into levels of home ownership. Using figures from the Labour Force Survey, their big finding was that Greater Manchester saw the biggest fall in owner occupation from its peak at the turn of the century. It was a pattern seen across the north.
It’s no shock that the housing crisis is gripping the whole country. Our analysis of the 2011 census in 2014 found that ownership levels were already dropping in major urban areas. These figures are a bit more up to date.
While London and the South East have the most insane house prices, buying a home anywhere has become more difficult. This is because wages haven’t risen by much, and more people are in insecure employment, so it’s harder to save and to qualify for a mortgage. House prices became uncoupled from wages before the credit crunch, and didn’t revert to affordable levels after it.Read more
The London housing crisis is taking its toll on families in the capital as they move to other parts of the UK in ever greater numbers. The net number of thirtysomethings and under-10s leaving the city has increased by 25% between 2012 and 2014 according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.
We have always seen more people in these age brackets move away from London than move there, but the difference is getting bigger. In the same two-year period, rents and house prices rose three times as fast in London as the rest of Britain.
The Labour Party’s Independent Review of Retirement Income (IRRI) has suggested that workers should be aiming to save 15% of their salary into the pension each month, according to a BBC report.
The other week, in an FT piece that went viral, Rebecca Taylor, director at the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments, said that 25-year-olds should be aiming to pay an average of £800 a month into their pension for the next forty years. Now this is an average: less now can be balanced out by paying more later. But the message is clear: start now.Read more
A flurry of news reports in the past week have told many of us what we're already thinking: more private renters are facing a lifetime of renting.
First, the Resolution Foundation said that, in ten years' time, 90% of under-35s on modest incomes will be renting for life.
Then, PwC said 40% of Londoners will be renting from a private landlord by 2025.
And today, the government-commissioned English Housing Survey found that 57% of private renters expect to buy their home - down from 61% in the previous year's report.Read more
"Generation Buy". Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. For baby boomers and Generation X, buying a home was taken for granted, and no one calls those cohorts "Generation Buy". But David Cameron seems fond of the phrase and if it means that he’ll stretch every sinew to make it happen, fine.
First time buyer numbers plummeted a decade ago from a peak of 600,000 to 300,000 today, hence the rise of generation rent. Most private renters still want to buy a home, and the government recognises this; George Osborne said before this year’s election that he wants to double the annual number of new home owners.
But the Prime Minister won’t change anything about home ownership with the policy he talked about in his speech to Conservative Party Conference. “Starter homes” are his latest wheeze, following the failure of Help to Buy to revive aspiring home owners’ fortunes. These privately built homes will be sold at a 20% discount to first time buyers. If house prices keep rising at current trends, that means that in 2018, you’ll be able to buy a new-build flat at 2015 prices. Sorry Dave, but I won’t be opening the champagne quite yet.Read more