Younger Owner Occupiers Increase In 2018-19

Schemes to help younger home owners purchase their own property could be reaping rewards as the latest English Housing Survey indicates that more people under the age of 34 are now classed as owner occupiers.

The research, released by the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), found the proportion of 25-34 year olds in owner occupation to have increased from 33% in 2013-14 to 41% last year.

The implementation of Help to Buy schemes in 2013 and the later Stamp Duty Land Tax relief offered to first time buyers in 2017 has clearly had a positive impact on the ability for first time buyers to gain a foothold on the property ladder.

Conversely, the number of private renters aged between 25 and 34 has risen from 41% in 2013 to 48% in 2018-19.

Despite the increase in younger homeowners last year, the number of owner occupiers has remained unchanged for the sixth consecutive year.

Of the total 23.5 million households in England, 15 million or 64% were owner occupied, 4.6 million or 19% were privately rented and 4 million (17%) belonged to the social rented sector.

Whilst younger buyers are thriving in the current climate, more people aged 55-64 are turning to rental accommodation with 10% of this demographic dependent on the rental market. This represented a 3% increase since 2008.

Additionally, owner occupiers aged between 55 and 64 has declined from 79% to 73% over the last decade.

Recent HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) data indicated that SDLT receipts fell by 5.2% annually in 2018/19 to around £14 billion with first-time buyers relief attributing to this loss.

Andy Sommerville, Director at Search Acumen, commented:

“The housing ladder needs some more rungs. It’s all very well saying that anyone can buy but when the percentage of homeowners has stood still since 2013 it seems clear navigating the housing ladder is too precarious for most people to do so safely.

“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.”

How significant have the stamp duty land tax (SDLT) relief and Help to Buy schemes been for the conveyancing sector?

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