Are young people struggling more than ever to get onto the property ladder?

5th February 2019


Five revealing statistics from the English Housing Survey.

The latest English Housing Survey, which provides insights into the living arrangements of the English population, was published last week.

One of the key findings is that renting is on the increase among younger residents, as they wait longer to get onto the property ladder. Here we look at five of the most revealing statistics to come out of the survey.

Owner occupation has not increased for five years

64% of the English population are owner occupiers. Owner occupation increased steadily between the 1980s and early 2000s, reaching its peak of 71% in 2003. It sank back to 64% in 2013, and has remained at virtually the same level since then.

34% of the population own their homes outright, while 30% have a mortgage. The remaining 36% rent their homes either privately or from public sector landlords.

The number of young people renting has increased dramatically over the past decade

10 years ago, 28% of 25-34 year olds were renting from private landlords. This has since shot up, reaching 44% in 2017-18. Meanwhile, the number of young people buying houses has tumbled over the same period from 55% to 38%. The remainder rent from public sector landlords.

The rise of the ‘bank of mum and dad’ phenomenon has helped many young people get onto the property ladder in recent years. However, according to Senior Research Analyst Lindsay Judge, this has not been enough to buck the downward trend. She told the BBC: "The underlying drivers of lower homeownership rates, including high prices, are here to stay.”

The age of first time buyers is on the increase

The average age of a first-time buyer is 33. Over the past two years, this has increased from 31 – further evidence that younger people are finding it increasingly hard to get onto the property ladder.

Getting a deposit together is one of the key challenges, and over two thirds (68%) of first time buyers paid a deposit of less than 20% in 2017-18. Buying one’s first home outright is a rarity, with only 7% of buyers paying for their first home outright.

Nearly half of first-time buyers are couples without children

2017-18 figures show that 47% of first time buyer households were couples without dependent children, while 29% were couples with children. Only 16% were one-person households - down from 26% the previous year.

According to the House Price Index 2018, the average home in England costs £243,639. To put down a 20% deposit would require the average buyer to save up £48,727. No mean feat for most, particularly those with financial dependents and single-income households.

In England, 2.1 million people will move house this year

For the past two years, the number of annual home moves in the UK has remained steady at 2.1 million.

Private tenants are the group most likely to move house often. On average, private sector renters move home every 4.1 years. In contrast, public sector tenants move every 11.9 years, and owner occupiers move every 17.8 years.

The tenant fees ban, which will come into effect on 1st June 2019, is likely to benefit those renters who move frequently. There are some concerns that renters who move less frequently may bear the brunt of increased rents, although the ultimate outcome remains to be seen.

If you’re planning to move home, Tili can help. Tili is a digital home move assistant that lets you set up all your essential home services in a few taps.

If you’re a property professional involved in the home move process, partner with us to offer Tili to your customers. It’s designed to save them time and money, and you’ll earn rewards when they use it.

33 The average age of a first-time buyer in England
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