Desire for home-ownership stronger than ever

85% of people cited home-ownership as the tenure they hoped to be living in a decade from now, suggesting that the home-ownership aspiration remains firmly rooted in the British psyche. The CML has asked the same questions about home-ownership aspirations periodically since 1975. Last time the survey was undertaken, in 2007, the proportion who expected to be home-owners in ten years’ time was 84%.

Over the short term, the desire for home-ownership has dipped a little. 76% of those surveyed saw home-ownership as their ideal tenure in two years’ time – down from 78% last time the survey was undertaken in 2007. This primarily reflects a much lower short-term appetite (42%) for home-ownership among adults aged 18 to 24 – although this is also the age group with the highest ten-year home-ownership aspirations (88%).

It is highly likely that this reflects younger people’s lifestyle choices, favouring more flexibility and mobility in the short term, as well as a realistic assessment of the difficulty of entering the housing market under current affordability conditions. CML chief economist Bob Pannell will be looking in more depth at the survey’s other findings, and the issues arising from them, at the conference next week

The CML’s "Future Housing" conference poses the question "can an age of austerity also be an age of aspiration?", and will be looking at the role not only of home-ownership but also the private and social rented sectors, and the future of intermediate tenure.

CML director general Michael Coogan, who is also speaking at the conference along with a range of housing experts, comments:

"It is crystal clear that most people see home-ownership as their tenure of choice over the long term. But the unintended consequence of regulatory change is that it is going to be permanently tougher for people – especially young people – to fulfil that aspiration in the future, even if they are responsible with their finances.

"Home-ownership levels are already falling, and they will continue to fall. Is that the outcome that policymakers want? It is certainly not what consumers want, but it’s what they’re likely to end up with. We urge politicians and regulators to pause and think again about the cumulative effects of their well-intentioned but poorly targeted package of regulatory changes."

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