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Several national newspapers suggested last week that Britain was becoming more continental' in its approach to property - and, in particular, homeownership.

The reports pointed out that the value of Britain's rental properties has more than tripled since 2009 - jumping from £302bn to £930.7bn - and that landlords' housing assets had similarly increased three-and-a-half fold since 2001. This was followed by a prediction that landlords' assets could surpass £1 trillion by mid-2015.

The reason behind all of this Well, it was explained that continued low pay, amongst a number of other factors, was leaving people struggling to buy - and, as a result to continue as tenants. All-in-all, the suggestion was that traditionally ownership-obsessed Britain had warmed (quite considerably) to the idea of long-term renting.

To my mind, they may as well have suggested that French is on its way to becoming Britain's national language.

All the great stats around the sky-rocketing value of landlords' assets should not really have come as a surprise to anyone. After all, here in the UK we have one of the most vibrant, dynamic and, indeed, lucrative property markets in the world. It therefore follows that the value of our properties - and their associated economies - should rise steadily. Indeed, it would be a greater worry if this were not the case.

What the reports certainly allude to but fail to really hammer home, is that we are still in the process of emerging from an economic recession. Inevitably, wages are going to be slower in catching up with prices, people are going to be buying later and, for some, the dream of owning their own property at present might feel like it's a long way off - if not a total impossibility. But this is unlikely to last forever - and a steady recovery is making sure of that.

As for Britain falling out of love with the homeownership dream I think not. An Englishman's home is still very much his castle.

*Eddie Goldsmith is Chairman of the Conveyancing Association and Senior Partner at Goldsmith Williams


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