22nd May 2015
The number of young people able to buy a home could halve in the next five years, Shelter has warned.
A report by the housing charity said that unless the government addresses the housing shortage, homeownership among the 25-to-34 age group will drop by 50%.
Over the past decade homeownership in this demographic has dropped by a third, from 1.8 million to 1.2 million, and if the trend continues it will drop to 616,600 by the end of this parliament.
Overall it would mean just 20% of people in this age group will be on the property ladder, compared with 60% just 10 years ago.
Soaring prices and stricter mortgage criteria have meant fewer households have been able to buy a home and more younger people are being forced to rent for longer in the private rental sector.
In 2004, 675,049 people aged 25-to-34 rented and this number had risen to 1.6 million by 2014. Shelter predicted it could rise to 2.3 million by 2020.
There is also the ‘clipped-wing generation’ of children being forced to live with their parents.
One of the problems facing young people is a lack of affordable housing. Housing figures released yesterday showed 125,110 homes were built last year but Shelter said it is still short of the 250,00 needed each year.
Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said: ‘Our housing shortage has been decades in the making, and only bold and immediate action can fix it.
‘No matter how hard they work or save, an entire generation is being forced to watch their dreams of a stable future slip through their fingers, stuck in properties where rents eat up their salaries and short-term contracts leave them with no stability at all.
‘Worse still, millions of families are struggling to pay their sky-high housing costs each month, worried whether they’ll be able to keep the roof over their heads at all.’