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2017 Homeowners Survey finds over 250,000 have given up their dream of home ownership.

The 2017 Homeowners Survey, an annual study conducted by the HomeOwners Alliance and BLP insurance, has revealed that over 250,000 few non-homeowners aspire to own their own property. This is the first time in five years that there has been a drop in the number of non-homeowners who aspire to own.

In 2013, 65% of non-homeowners aspired to home ownership, with this number increasing every year and peaking at 73% in 2016. But this year, the numbers have fallen for the first time, back to 71%. This equates to around 253,166 people across the country who have given up on ownership in the past 12 months. The stats mirror the rise of the government’s flagship Help to Buy programme launched in 2013 and is now receding with the cancellation of the mortgage guarantee part of the scheme in 2016.

The key issues for aspiring homeowners are house prices, saving for a deposit and availability of homes. From a survey, 86% say house prices are the most serious concern, (up 3% in the past year), with 85% citing saving for a deposit as a serious problem (up 1%) and 80% worries about the availability of homes (up 2%).

The findings highlight that concerns over the housing crisis are being raised all over the UK.

Commenting on these trends, Paula Higgins, Chief Executive of HomeOwners Alliance said: “The HomeOwners Alliance has been tracking views of consumers for five years now, and these latest findings show that the housing crisis is deepening across the UK. This in turn is impacting on people’s aspirations to get on the property ladder. While we are used to stories about people not being able to buy a home until they are 40, the story has taken a turn for the worse with people increasingly giving up altogether on the dream of home ownership.

“While aspiring homeowners’ concerns about house prices, saving for a deposit and housing supply grow, the change in political rhetoric around home ownership and a lack of new homes being built in the last year, plus the removal of flagship government schemes like the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee, appear to have had a negative impact on consumer attitudes. People are feeling less optimistic about their chances of buying their first property. With the election approaching, it is vital that housing is placed at the forefront of the policy agenda and that whatever party is elected, it takes serious steps to address the growing concerns of aspiring homeowners.”

Commenting on the figures, Kim Vernau, Chief Executive Officer of BLP Insurance said: “The housing crisis is worsening across the country. We are failing to deliver the numbers of homes required as a direct result of a lack of SMEs to develop over and above the numbers provided by the large house builders. The recent housing white paper from the Government proposes a wide variety of recommendations to the market for consultation, to address issues with planning and resource, with a distinct shift away from focusing solely on home ownership. This is a tacit acknowledgement that not everyone will be able to own their home. It is important that post the election result, the provision of housing is seen as a critical requirement and the results of government consultations prioritised into action. In the absence of this, the opportunity for aspiring new home owners to get on the housing ladder will only continue to deteriorate.”

Source – UK Construction Online

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