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Owner-occupation rate bounces back

The proportion of young homeowners has increased, reversing a trend seen since 2003, the government’s English Housing Survey has revealed.

Between 2003-04 and 2013-14 the proportion of 25-34 year olds in owner occupation decreased from 59% to 36%.

However in 2018-19 it bounced back to 41%, the same as the proportion living in the private rented sector.

Despite this surprising shift, the proportion of 35-44 year olds living in private rented accommodation increased from 16% in 2008-09 to 29% in 2018-19.

Meanwhile the proportion of 55-64 year olds living in the private rented sector rose from 7% in 2008-09 to 10% in 2018-19.

Tom Mundy, chief operating officer of Goodlord, said: “Although the reports does also show that a greater proportion of young people are getting onto the property ladder, we are clearly moving towards a greater number of “lifetime renters”.

“This is an opportunity for the lettings market to cater to this new demographic, but it also presents a challenge.

“Agents and landlords must ensure they continue to meet the expectations of long-term renters as the market and the demographics of their tenants continues to evolve.”

Overcrowding has been identified as a problem in the private rented sector.

As a proportion of private renters the number living in overcrowded accommodation increased from 3% in 1998-99 to 6% in 2018-19.

Andy Sommerville, director at Search Acumen, said: “Everyone is affected by the lack of suitable housing. From those who bought before starting families who now find themselves trapped in homes too small for their needs, to the social housing sector where overcrowding remains at its highest ever level.

“We need more housing and we need to make moving less burdensome – financially and emotionally. To do that we have to embrace the digitisation of integral conveyancing processes and that requires more open data.

“Bricks and mortar are a far cry from big data and algorithms but if we are serious about solving the housing crisis, we need to see greater commitment from both public and private sectors to unite them.”