Homeownership rising among 25- to 34-year-olds but stable overall, latest government figures show

The government has hailed an increase in the number of young people owning their own homes. 

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The latest English Housing Survey found 41% of those aged 25-34 were homeowners in 2018/19, up from 36% in 2013/14, matched by a proportionate decline in the number of young people in the private rented sector.

However, the government survey found the overall rate of homeownership remained stubbornly stable, for the sixth year in a row. It said 64% of England’s 23.5 million households were owner occupiers, down from the peak of 71% reached in 2003.

It found the increase in young people owning had been offset by growth in the number of older people aged 55-64 living in rented accommodation, leaving the overall ownership rate unchanged.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick said the government was doing everything it could to make the “dream of home ownership” a reality for more people. “It’s great to see this is happening for more young people who have taken that first step onto the housing ladder.

“We’re continuing to work to improve standards in the private rented sector, making buying a home more affordable and building homes fit for the future.”

The news follows figures, released late last year, showing the number of net additions to the housing stock in 2018/19, at 241,000, was the highest since the data started being recorded 20 years ago. However, much of last year saw housing starts falling due to uncertain market conditions.

Joseph Daniels, founder of modular developer Project Etopia, said the Help to Buy policy, which is due to be cancelled in 2023, was behind the recovery in homeownership in this age bracket, but that homeownership was still unaffordable in many parts of the country.

He said: “This points to a welcome softening in affordability issues but much more progress needs to be made. It will take considerable time and momentum until owner occupancy among younger people returns to the 59% seen in 2003-04.”