Owner occupiers in decline

Nia Williams

February 24, 2010

This is according to the CLG’s English Housing Survey, which indicated that the proportion of households choosing to be owner occupiers is continuing to decline but there has been an increase in the proportion of private renters expecting to purchase a house over the medium term.

Commenting, Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “The latest survey provides further evidence that the proportion of households choosing to be owner occupiers is continuing to decline. The peak year for owner occupation was actually back in 2003. Since then, private renting has become an increasingly important tenure with the buy-to-let boom significantly increasing the supply of this type of accommodation. Interestingly while the proportion of private renters looking to buy over the next couple of years has declined according to the report, this is not indicative of a diminishing desire to own property; there has been an increase in the proportion of private renters expecting to purchase a house over the medium term.

“However, unless housing supply increases substantially over the next few years, the likelihood is that many of those aspiring to buy a home will continue to find such a move out of their reach. Data released last week showed new housing starts to remain at historically low levels, suggesting that the imbalance between demand and supply is likely to remain a feature of the market in many parts of the country for some time to come. Even if there is some easing in prices later this year as mortgage costs begin to rise, it is unlikely that this process will continue unless the economy were to lurch back into recession, which is not expected.”

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