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NEWS More people in UK want to buy a home but ownership levels are falling

The appetite amongst people in the UK to own their home has risen steadily over the past four years but ownership levels have also been falling, new research shows.

Some 73% of non-home owners now say they would like to own their home compared to 69% last year, 68% in 2014 and 65% in 2013, according to the annual survey from the consumers group the HomeOwners Alliance.

But despite more people wanting to own the roof over their heads, home ownership levels have been declining for the past decade after peaking in 2002 at 69.7% and the report says this is because the high demand for homes is pushing house prices to unaffordable levels.

It explains that the mismatch between house prices and wages is worsening, average house prices have risen five times more than wages in the last five years and this is exacerbated by an inadequate supply of new homes.

It also points out that despite a series of measures announced by the government aimed at supporting first time buyers, such as the Starter Homes Initiative, extension of the Help to Buy loan scheme and introduction of a new Help to Buy ISA there are still difficulties in first time buyers finding affordable homes.

One issues is that in dealing with the housing crisis, much of the focus has been on helping first time buyers, but there is growing recognition that solutions need to go further, it suggests, adding that with availability of homes for sale at a record low, last time buyers in under occupied homes have become a focus for freeing up housing stock for younger families.

‘Despite a blizzard of government initiatives aimed at helping homeowners, the housing crisis is deepening across the country, with ever more non-homeowners wanting their own home, and ever greater concern about the lack of housing,’ said Paula Higgins, chief executive of the HomeOwners Alliance.

‘Many government policies have boosted demand for homes, but what this survey shows is that the real problem is the desperate shortage of houses. Until the government tackles the fundamental issue that we just don’t have enough good quality homes, the housing crisis will continue to deepen and a generation will continue to have their dreams of home ownership crushed,’ she added.

It explains that so-called last time buyers, could help ease the housing crisis in the UK freeing up under occupied properties. There are an estimated 11.4 million home owners age 55 and over and 10% of them have considered a move in the past two years but did not.

Some 23% of home owners aged 55 or over who considered moving say lack of suitable housing was the main reason they did not do so, this equates to more than 500,000 home owners.

Stress and upheaval of moving is also more likely to be a barrier for those moving later in life with 30% saying so compared to 21% of home owners...

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