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Buyers are increasingly just the older generation and well-off young

Home ownership among the young has fallen across all income groups according to a large scale research project looking at adults between 25 and 34.

The research, by the Institute of Fiscal Studies for the BBC, shows that among the best paid fifth in that age group, with a family income of £41,000 or more after tax - the proportion who own a home has fallen from 85 per cent 20 years ago to 65 per cent today.

Amongst middle-income young people - with £22,200 to £30,600 family income after tax - just 27 per cent are now homeowners compared to 65 per cent in 1995-96.

The proportion drops to just eight per cent for families in that age group on less than £15,080, who make up the bottom fifth in terms of income.

The IFS says the chief reason for the radical shift in ownership is house price inflation. 

“Prices have risen by almost 160 per cent since the mid-1990s while young people's incomes have grown by only 23 per cent. This means that fewer and fewer can afford to get on the housing ladder” explains Jonathan Cribb, the IFS senior economist who wrote the survey’s findings for the BBC.

The biggest falls in home ownership have been in south-east England, where house prices rose especially steeply. In 1998 some 64 per cent of 25 to 34 year olds in the south east owned a home, a figure that has now halved to 32 per cent.

In London a similar story is revealed by the figures - the proportion of homeowners of this age fell from 47 per cent to 20 per cent between 1995-96 and 2015-16. 

By dramatic contrast in north east England and Cumbria, where prices have been far less buoyant, the number of young homeowners fell from 54 per cent in 1995-96 to 44 per cent in 2015-16.

You can see the BBC report on the research here.


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