'Collapse' in home-ownership among young adults on middle incomes, study finds

Proportion of age groups in England who are owner-occupiers

One in four middle-earning young adults own their own home – down from two in three 20 years ago, claims report

New figures reveal that home-ownership levels among young adults with middle incomes has "collapsed" over the past 20 years.

The myth fewer millennials own homes than previous generations because they prefer a nomadic lifestyle has been quashed by new research, which has suggested young people on middle incomes are less than half as likely to own their own home than previous generations at the same age.

Twenty years ago, middle-income young adults had home ownership rates much more similar to high-income young adults, the IFS said. In 2014-17, a third of 25-34 year olds whose parents were in a low occupational class, owned their own property compared with 43% of those whose parents were in a higher occupational class.

The study shows the growing disparities between rich and poor, as well as young and old, across the country.

"Given what we find about the relationship between house prices and home ownership, you might expect the decline in home ownership to start flattening off", he said. While those on middle incomes have seen the largest fall in ownership rates, those in the top income bracket have been least affected.

Chancellor Phillip Hammond attempted to offer a ray of hope to young buyers by introducing stamp duty cuts in the November budget.

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John Healey, Labour's shadow housing secretary, said the research should be a "wake up call" for the ministers. After nearly eight years of failure on housing, the Government is still failing to tackle the fundamental problems with our broken housing market. However, critics say more house-building is needed to slow the pace of price rises.

In London, house prices are 17.5 times higher than average incomes for these young people, compared with four times as high in the United Kingdom as a whole. "The reason for this is that house prices have risen around seven times faster in real terms than the incomes of young adults over the last two decades". A quarter of people born in the late 1980s owned their own home by the age of 27, compared to 33 per cent of those born five years earlier and 43 per cent of those born in the late 1970s.

The Government introduced the Help to Buy scheme in 2013 to bolster access to financial support for first-time buyers unable to pay large deposits, and scrapped stamp duty for nearly all first-time buyers in November's Budget. By 2015-16, this had dropped to just one in four (27%).

Over the past two decades average house prices have grown around seven times faster than the average incomes of young adults.

Responding to the IFS study, housing minister Dominic Raab MP said: Through schemes like Help to Buy, we're helping more people onto the housing ladder and previous year saw the highest number of first-time buyers in the United Kingdom since 2006.

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