Home-ownership has plummeted among young people in the past decade
It might sound impossible to those looking to buy their first home in London, where the average price of a property is comfortably over the half-a-million mark.
But there are now more homeowners in England that own their home outright than there are homeowners with a mortgage.
It’s the first time outright owners have outnumbered mortgage-holders since records began, according to the Department for Communities and Local Government’s English Housing Survey for 2013-14.
It found that nearly two-thirds (63%) of the 22.6 million households in England were owner-occupied.
Of those owner-occupied homes, 7.4 million were owned outright compared with the 6.9 million bought with a mortgage.
The figures speak of the property wealth held by the elder generation of retirees and the middle-aged, who bought decades ago and have either paid off their mortgages or bought homes outright thanks to a lifetime of savings.
It’s sorry news for first-time buyers, who are likely to find it even tougher to purchase their first property if they happen to be up against older people able to put in an offer without a mortgage.
Unsurprisingly, the report’s findings underline how difficult young people are finding trying to get a foot on the property ladder.
Ten years ago, only one in five (21%) of 25-34-year-olds were living in private rented accommodation.
In the most recent government figures, that proportion has more than doubled to 48% of them renting privately.
In the same period, owner-occupation among 25-34-year-olds has almost halved, from 59% in 2003-04 to 36% in 2013-14.