Home ownership amongst the younger generations has fallen in all income groups, according to a new large-scale research project focusing on those aged between 25 and 34. The study, conducted by the Institute of Fiscal Studies on behalf of the BBC, has shown that amongst the top 20 per cent of the 25 – 34 age group, with £41,000 or more as a family income after tax, the proportion of those who own a home has dropped significantly in 20 years, from 85 per cent to 65 per cent. Of those with a middle family income of between £22,200 and £30,600 after tax, only 27 per cent are homeowners, compared with 65 per cent in 1996.
The number of homeowners drops to only 8 per cent for families in the 25 – 34 age bracket with an income of less than £15,080. which make up the bottom 20 per cent in terms of income. The IFS has stated that the primary reason behind this radical change in home ownership is inflation of house prices. House prices have risen astronomically since the mid-1990s, whilst the average income of young people has grown by just 23 per cent.
This leaves fewer young people able to buy a house, and has divided that generation, with just a small group of young adults that can get onto the property ladder. There are fears that this generation will never be as wealthy as their parents. 40 per cent of young homeowners fall into the top salary bracket, up from 30 per cent in the mid-1990s. This results in fewer and fewer people being able to afford to get onto the housing ladder, leading to an increased demand in private rental housing.
The largest falls in house ownership in the UK have been in the South East of England, where house prices have risen steeply. In 1998, 64 per cent of those aged between 25 and 34 years old in the South East owned their home, a figure which has now halved to only 32 per cent. A similar story has been revealed in London, where the proportion of home owners in the 25 – 34 age bracket has also fallen from 47 per cent in 1996, to just 20 per cent in 2016. By contrast, Cumbria and the North East of England has experienced a far less buoyant housing market, but the number of young homeowners has still fallen. 54 per cent of 25 to 34 year olds in this region owned a home in 1996, with the figure falling to 44 per cent in 2016.
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