A respected housing market analyst says “it's a bit cheeky” of housing minister Brandon Lewis to claim credit for figures suggesting that the long-term fall in home ownership is at an end.
Last week we reported Lewis saying government policies were behind data showing that the fall in home ownership - a trend stretching back to 2003 - had been arrested in 2013-14. The data was produced in the latest English Housing Survey.
But Kate Faulkner, of housing consumer website Propertychecklists, says this is not down to government at all.
“It is simply because we are now out of a recession, so it's sensible to buy as opposed to stay renting when prices from 2007 to 2013 in many areas were crashing. It's also worth knowing one of the main reasons for the decline in home ownership was due to the artificial 'boost' to home ownership from the sale of two million council houses during the 1990s, so a fall was always inevitable” she says.
Faulkner also predicts that the increasing average age of a first time buyer - now in his or her 30s according to the English Housing Survey - will also fall in future, but again not due solely to government policies.
“I think the age will naturally come back down over the coming years - not solely due to the government - just because we've had a recession” she says.
“I also think the number of people paying off their mortgage will rise over the coming years. Thanks to low interest rates some people, like myself, have carried on paying our mortgage at no extra cost. We've halved the time it takes to pay off the mortgage.”