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A government-commissioned report unveiled by the British Property Federation confirms that that home ownership has fallen to its lowest level in 20 years.
According to the English Housing Survey, commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government just 67.9 per cent of English households own their home, the lowest percentage since 1991,
There was a decrease in the number of owner occupied households from a peak of 14.8 million in 2005 and 2006 to 14.6 million in 2008-09. In contrast the number of households renting privately surged by one million since 2001, from 2.1 million to 3.1 million in 2008-09.
Private rented sector (PRS) housing has accounted for nearly all household growth over the past decade, with 1.1 million additional households in the sector versus 2000. The PRS is up from 13.9% of households in 2008 to 14.2% in 2009.
There are almost as many families with children in the PRS as there are in the social rented sector. The latter is dominated by retired people and lone parents.
Only 11% of private renters are dissatisfied with their accommodation, compared with 16% of social renters and there are twice as many people in full time work in the PRS as in social renting.
But worryingly, millions are living in non-decent homes. The report says that 33 per cent of households are ‘non decent’. This equates to around 20million people living in below standard housing, based on the 7.4 million households the report specifies as ‘non decent’. More than a quarter of social housing is below-par.
Liz Peace, chief executive of the BPF, told The Landscaper “We’re seeing massive demand for private rented housing in the wake of crippled mortgage markets and soaring levels of people who cannot afford to buy. The government must do something to deal with this demand or we will end up with the crisis getting far worse. The number of people living in non-decent homes shows a vital need for new investment and our view is that, with mortgages unavailable to many, this finance will have to come from institutions like pension funds who have large swathes of capital to invest. We should look at the housing models adopted in the USA and Europe where renting is socially acceptable and standards are higher because their governments have embraced professional corporate landlords.”
Full report is here:

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