Mortgaged ownership slides further as generation rent grows up

English Housing Survey results released yesterday show the lowest levels of households buying with a mortgage recorded since 1981. Whilst much has been made of frustrated 25-34-year-old buyers, the alarming growth in 35-44 year old renters suggests that generation rent may be growing up but not moving up. For these households, bold action to fix our broken housebuilding system can’t come soon enough.

Home ownership overall hasn’t changed significantly since last year but this masks changes in who owns and … Read more

Renters vary across the country; government housing investment needs to as well

With the Autumn Statement looming, current funding for affordable housing is still largely reserved for Starter Homes and shared ownership. This weekend we published new research that shows that almost a third, or over 830,000, of working privately renting households would not be able to afford any of the three main ownership products based on their income.

A further 20% of working private tenants are unlikely to be able to save up enough for a deposit on a shared ownership … Read more

Theresa May is right to highlight families' struggle with housing costs - but rent is the worry, not mortgages

Theresa May’s first speech as Prime Minister included a promise to empower ‘working class’ families. It was encouraging to hear her touch on how housing costs are a weight on households’ quality of life but this was reduced to a ‘worry about paying the mortgage’. Research from the Resolution Foundation confirms that it is in fact renters that have seen their incomes squeezed by housing costs the most. The new government now has an opportunity to offer genuine … Read more

Help to Buy - the drugs don't work

Last week’s government press release on Help to Buy emphasised getting people on to the housing ladder and supporting ‘responsible lending’. Accompanying statistics, however, show it is failing to help those on normal incomes.

Supporting the credit constrained or supporting prices?

Of those using Help to Buy Equity, 1 in 5 are already homeowners and the incomes of those using the scheme are higher than those of young renters in the regions of England where it is most popular.

The … Read more

House building stats show we’re not catching up any time soon

As widely reported, the most recent house building figures for the first quarter of the year showed a 3% decrease in starts and a 9% decrease in completions compared to March last year, based on seasonally adjusted data. Whilst the number of homes built can vary considerably from quarter to quarter and the total number of completions over the last financial year did in fact increase compared to 2014-15, we are still a long way from building the number of … Read more

Forced council sales – hampering local authorities’ fight against homelessness

Last week, we published research showing the Housing and Planning Bill could force the sale of 23,500 vacant council houses each year, with local authorities facing an average annual bill of £26m. In many places, these are modest homes that could be going to those in need of stable, affordable housing.  And as a result, councils doing their best to find homes for homeless households could find their hands increasingly tied. Our new analysis suggests that the hardest hit … Read more

'High' to 'higher' forced sales mean 23,500 council homes lost per year and an average annual £26m bill

We previously sounded the alarm that a subtle amendment to the Housing and Planning Bill allows the Secretary of State to force the sale of a much broader range of council homes than before to fund the expansion of Right to Buy to housing association tenants.

Our brand new analysis  shows that to raise the estimated £4.5bn a year needed to fund the generous discounts that make Right to Buy work, the average council could be hit with an annual … Read more

The Housing and Planning Bill risks missing out half of England’s young private-renting households

This afternoon, the House of Lords will kick-off the first round of voting on key amendments to the Housing and Planning Bill. Councils around the country will be forced  to make sure that 20% of all new homes on developments are Starter Homes, leaving very little room for social rent. Given that the government’s vision for affordable housing is almost exclusively through subsidised home ownership, it’s crucial to ask whether this does the job, particularly for households on lower … Read more

Right to Buy replacement - four steps to good news

Official figures released today show that the number of homes started by councils continues to be outstripped by the number sold off through the Right to Buy scheme. Of the 38,479 council homes sold since 2012, only 4,594 homes have been started  – that’s 1 for every 8 sold.

Since announcing ‘reinvigorating’ the Right to Buy scheme, the government has rightly promised to replace homes sold through the scheme on a one-for-one basis. This was a welcome change to … Read more

Who can or can't afford a Starter Home? It's debatable

The Housing and Planning Bill is making its way through the House of Lords and yesterday, attention turned to the thorny question of Starter Homes. During the debate, our hot-off-the-press finding that up to 80% of young private renting households will not be able to afford a Starter Home in London was contrasted with government claims that up to 47% will. So what’s behind these very different pictures? The government is yet to publish the methods and assumptions behind its … Read more

Help to Buy Equity - a welcome addition?

Last week, the government published a report on the impact of the Help to Buy Equity scheme. Launched in April 2013, it provides buyers of new-build properties registered with the scheme with an equity loan worth 20% of the value of the home. Alongside the report, a rather sweeping press release proclaimed ‘43% additional new homes built as a direct result of Help to Buy equity’. With an extended policy recently launched in London, does this prove that Help to … Read more

Shared ownership - who does it work for?

The pre-announced bits of today’s Comprehensive Spending Review have a welcome focus on house building, £4 billion of which is devoted to building 135,000 new shared ownership homes during 2018-2020. As we’ve said many times before, we desperately need more affordable homes built, and shared ownership can play a useful part in the mix – but we’re worried that funding for these homes may come at the expense of new low-rent homes for those who need them most.

So as … Read more