I was reading through the papers this morning, and came across an article courtesy of the Daily Telegraph in which it was reported that home ownership is at its lowest since the 1980’s. I have to say, this didn’t come as much of a surprise to me.
One, the whole world is going through turbulent economic times at the moment and it appears that banks are at the centre of it. This means they’ve stopped lending like they were.
Two, house prices (believe it or not) have been on the rise for many years, and they’ve quite simply “priced” the younger generation out of the market. We’ve all heard parents complaining that children don’t leave home until well into their 20’s but this isn’t because they don’t want to, it’s because they can’t afford to.
Here are some statistics for you. During Thatcher’s reign as the UK Prime Minister, she introduced a “right to buy” policy and it worked. People who were living in council houses were encouraged to buy at rock bottom prices. Home ownership rose from just over 56% to 67% and finally peaked at just under 71% around 2003.
Since then, we’ve seen a downturn in the number of people moving into their own homes, and as a result the rental market is pretty buoyant right now. What I find saddening is the average home these days is considered to be a financial investment instead of a place someone can start a family, and begin to build on the happy memories of family life.
It’s not all bad news though. The current UK Government has responded to this problem by introducing a Funding for Lending Scheme in August 2012. Many lenders have slashed their interest rates as a result, and there are now more mortgages available at affordable prices.
My question is this. Have we lost our way? Are we creating a younger generation that isn’t concerned about owning a home long enough to bring up their children, and in later years have the grand children visit them? If this is the case, I think it’s very sad indeed!
Author: Julie Coburn