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England: 1.75m private renters believe they will never buy house
ARTICLE PUBLISHED BY GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER JULY 2018
About 1.75 million people who rent their homes do not believe they will ever be able to buy, an increase of 50% since 2010.
Analysis of the official English Housing Survey by Labour shows the number of households renting privately that don’t expect to be able to buy in the future has increased by 585,000 since the Conservatives came to power.
Renters’ pessimism has grown despite a series of high-profile policies from the government to get more first-time buyers on the housing ladder.
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The figures show that 1.75 million private renters said in 2016-17 that they did not think they would be able to buy their own home in the future, up from 1.16 million in 2009-10
The number is up by almost 300,000 since 2012 when the then chancellor, George Osborne, introduced the help-to-buy programme, which critics claim boosted demand.
Owner-occupation rates in Britain have been declining since 2003, when the proportion of people owning their home reached its peak of 71%. Since then, population growth, a lack of new housing, the failure to replace social housing sold under the right-to-buy scheme and rising property prices have resulted in the figure dropping to 63%.
The shadow housing secretary, John Healey, who obtained the figures, said: “The dream of buying a home is dying for more and more private renters. With home ownership at a 30-year low and a million fewer under-45s with their own home now than just eight years ago, it’s clear Tory ministers have no answers to the cost of the housing crisis.
“The country badly needs Labour’s long-term plan to back first-time buyers and build a million affordable homes.”
In its green paper on housing, published last month, Labour set out plans to help first-time buyers by giving local people first refusal on new homes and bringing in a new generation of discounted FirstBuy homes linked to local wages.
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