Young homeowners 'halved in number across large parts of England in generation'

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Home ownership among young families has halved across large swathes of England in the space of a generation, according to analysis by a think-tank.

The Resolution Foundation said its findings counter "the popular perception that the struggle to get on the housing ladder is largely confined to London and the South East".

It looked at how home ownership for young families in the 25 to 34-year-old age group has changed over time - between 1994 and 2016.

In West Yorkshire, for example, 61% in this age group bracket were home owners in 1994, but by 2016 this had fallen to 30% - around half the levels seen in the mid-1990s.

And in Greater Manchester, home ownership levels in this age group have fallen from 59% to 29% over the same period, it found.

The South West of England has seen a fall from 62% to 36% over the period, while East Anglia has seen a fall from 61% to 34%, the research found.

In outer London, the fall has been from 55% in 1994 to 20% in 2016, according to the research, which analysed the Labour Force Survey to make the findings.

Big falls were also recorded in other areas of the South East including Brighton, Southampton, Reading and Milton Keynes, with home ownership in the younger age group bracket falling from 64% to 34% across this part of the country.

The focus of the Resolution Foundation's work is to improve the living standards of people on low to middle incomes.

It argued that such a "seismic shift" in home ownership puts the younger generation in a very different position from that of the older, baby boomer generation, leaving many more young families living in the private rented sector.

Lindsay Judge, a senior policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: "London house prices always dominate the headlines, but with all eyes on the capital we're missing the bigger picture.

"From Bristol to East Anglia and up to West Yorkshire, large swathes of young families across the country simply cannot afford to buy their own home.

"This has implications for their living standards in the here and now, but also in the future when their children grow up and they approach retirement without this key asset to draw upon in old age.

"The manifestos show clear intent from all the main parties to ensure home ownership is a possibility for more young families.

"But these pledges need a hefty dose of reality as they depend on vastly increasing the rate at which we are currently building in the UK."