The first major review into home ownership in over a decade reveals that the financial squeeze on young people is at the heart of the decline in the number of home owners and calls for a long-term, cross-party approach to housing issues.
The long-awaited Redfern Report is slightly at odds with government policy, which seems to favour increasing the supply of property, rather than access to the finance to buy it.
The study found that that
- home ownership is the preferred choice of tenure for 80% of people
- declines in home ownership have been steepest among young people – over 20% in 12 years
- the two biggest drivers of the fall in home ownership since the financial crisis in 2008 have been the marked relative fall in incomes of would-be first time buyers and their access to mortgage finance.
The report goes on to recommend that solutions need to be consistent and long-term, requiring “open, constructive cross-party dialogue”. It proposes the establishment of an independent housing commission that can “own this strategy and take a non-partisan approach to long term housing decisions”.
The Redfern Review was led by Peter Redfern, chief executive of housebuilder Taylor Wimpey who went on to say that “as long as conditions remain broadly the same, we expect the rate of decline in home ownership to stabilise in the near term, giving a sound basis for future, sustainable improvement”.