Young homeowner numbers have halved since 1970s

Michael Lloyd

August 30, 2019

Homeownership rates for 26-28 year-olds have halved since the 1970s, the Resolution Foundation has found.

The ‘Mapping millennials’ living standards’, report showed London and the West Midlands have experienced the biggest falls in home ownership for those in their late 20s.

Martijn Van Der Heijden, chief strategy officer at Habito, said: “This report tells us that, unsurprisingly, home ownership remains one of the key aspirations for young people.

“However, perhaps just as high as the aspiration to own a home is the bank balance needed to do so.

“Affordability driven by lack of supply and high transaction costs means that for young people, owning a house or more accurately not owning one, is a major form of stress and seems like a distant fantasy.

“Our own research also tells us that an unfit mortgage market means the most vulnerable and poorest are marginalised by an industry that excludes more than half of adults because the jargon and language used in mortgage contracts is impenetrable.

“Getting a mortgage and the keys to a home is also one of the most stressful things a person will ever go through, with 62% of homeowners experiencing anxiety when applying for a mortgage.

“The aspiration to own a home will remain high but until we are able to address the wider barriers that people face, there’s a risk a generation of young people may miss out on their dream.”

Millennials in London are behind their peers in other regions, both being the lowest proportion of homeowners and the largest decrease in home ownership compared to 1970s.

The capital also has the lowest home ownership rates for those born between 1986 and 1990 when in their late 20s, and the biggest home ownership decline since the 1971 to 1975 cohort were that age.

Maja Gustafsson, researcher at the Resolution Foundation, said: “When people think about how they are doing in terms of their pay and career, they’re more likely to compare themselves to peers and previous generations where they live, than to people in other parts of the country.

“Millennials are generally earning and working more than the generation before – but there are exceptions, and the degree of generational progress varies enormously.

“A young adult working in the North East earns less on average than someone of the same age in London – but compared to their predecessors at the same age, young people in that region have made the largest employment and pay gains of anywhere in Britain.”

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