Levels of home ownership are expected to rise in the UK as economic growth continues, according to new research from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).
Comparing patterns of home ownership in the UK with those of the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the research aimed to establish whether home-ownership reaches a natural ceiling when the housing market matures or whether it is affected by economic factors.
While policy makers consider a market to have matured once levels of home ownership exceed 60%, experience in the US has bucked this trend. There, levels of homeownership have risen considerably following a prolonged period of economic growth during the 1990s.
16.5 million people, or 67% of the UK population, now live in owner-occupied homes and while it was believed to have reached its peak the CML is now confident it will grow further. It estimates the number of home owners in the UK could rise by 2.4 million by 2021, an increase of 14.5% following strong economic growth.
Peter Williams, deputy director general at the CML, said: “The most recent CML survey showed that almost 80% of people would prefer to live in their own home – a much higher proportion than we have now.
“Current levels of affordability and the competitiveness of mortgage finance, along with a growing economy and greater stability in the housing market and interest rates, suggest that the aspirations of more people for sustainable home ownership are realistic.”
However, he added that if this is to be achieved, government policy will need to be amended to encourage and support home ownership.