Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/521/3811
The Socialist 21 February 2008 |
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Record fall in home ownership
THE NUMBER of homeowners in England fell by a record 83,000 in 2007, according to a survey by leading mortgage lenders Halifax. After a long period of growth in this sector, there are now only 85,000 more households occupied by their owners than there were five years ago.
The decline was particularly notable in younger age groups and in more expensive areas. Home ownership in London fell by 111,000 (6.3%), while numbers in the north rose by 345,000 (5.1 per cent) between 2001 and 2006.
High house prices are the main reason for this, putting ever bigger obstacles in the way of getting on the 'property ladder'. In the 25-34 age band, 322,000 fewer households own and occupy their own premises than in 2001. The number of houses bought with a mortgage by the young went down 2% last year.
Meanwhile the private rental sector, cheaper than buying but often offering sub-standard, overcrowded and expensive accommodation, has boomed, particularly those owned by buy-to-let landlords.
Scandalously the government has a target of, each year, selling off 200,000 council houses, the traditional way of aiding the housing of the less affluent. This is leaving more people to the profiteering of private landlords.