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News - 8 February 2013

Home Ownership is at a low

The English Housing Survey 2011 to 2012, published by the Department for Communities and Local Government has shown that the level of home ownership has fallen to its lowest level since 1987. During the 1980s, the level of home ownership rose from 56.6 per cent to 67 per cent but it went on to peak at 70.9 per cent in 2003.

This is seen as a result of the rapid increase in the cost of property in the run-up to 2007, coupled with a subsequent reduction in the availability of credit, has priced millions of would-be buyers out of the market.

Christine Matthews, Property Manager at ABDS comments
“The survey also showed that more households are renting their homes privately in England than living in social housing for the first time since the 1960s.”

17.4 per cent or 3.84 million households were living in the private rental sector last year, compared with 17.3 per cent or 3.80 million renting from councils or housing associations. Recent research suggested that around three-fifths of private renters are trapped because they cannot make the jump on to the property ladder.

First-time buyers also still need to find a deposit of around 20%, compared with the mid-2000s when a 10 per cent deposit was typically put down.

However, The Bank of England has reported uplifts in mortgage approvals to home buyers in recent months following the introduction of the Government's Funding for Lending scheme last August, which has given lenders access to cheap finance to help borrowers.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of charity Shelter, said the figures are "bad news for anyone struggling to find a decent and affordable home," and that families have become stuck in the "rent trap" as rents have soared due to strong demand, which has left tenants with little cash to be able to save for a mortgage deposit.

If you need any help and advice on the implications of Property Ownership, Letting and Taxation, contact Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar to discuss how ABDS can help.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail:

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