Page last updated at 10:24 GMT, Monday, 15 June 2009 11:24 UK

Home ownership 'aspirations hit'

Sale signs
The Chartered Institute said too many people owned during the boom

Young people's aspirations of home ownership have shrunk as a result of the recession, according to a survey.

The proportion of UK youngsters who believed owning their own home was "the ideal living situation" dropped in the last year, the poll found.

The not-for-profit Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) surveyed 2,028 people ahead of its annual conference.

It is calling for renting and ownership to be considered as equally viable alternative for the younger generation.

"We've driven too many people into unsustainable owner-occupation," said CIH chief executive Sarah Webb.

"A generation has grown up believing it has to own at any cost - in part because we have not provided them with decent information about the alternatives."


Historically, the poll has found that people aspire to owning their own home - a situation confirmed this time.

[Home ownership] gives you freedom and it is a status thing
Housing association membrer Ruhul Alam

Some 70% of people asked said they thought that homeownership was a good long-term investment.

However, in the 25 to 34 age bracket, the proportion who believed that owning their own home was the ideal living situation fell from 83% a year ago to 69% now.

Those surveyed - who included homeowners, tenants and people living in social housing - pointed to negative equity as a source of concern.

Part of the project charted the concerns and support over homeownership from young members of a housing association board.

With the housing boom having pushed up prices and banks now squeezing their lending, it had become tough to get on the housing ladder, said Muhammod Akbur Hussain, 21, according to the report.

But Ruhul Alam, 22, said: "Ownership is an aspiration to most young people. Ownership gives you security, you can't be evicted. It gives you freedom and it is a status thing."

'Price gap'

A separate survey for the CIH found that four in five said demand for rented accommodation had risen in the last 12 months, and demand for debt advice had also grown.

Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) show there were 11.6 million mortgage holders in the UK in 2008, including 1.15 million outstanding buy-to-let mortgage holders.

Meanwhile, a report by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said the gap between asking and selling prices had narrowed.

Across the UK, houses were selling at an average of 11% below the asking price with sellers, although in some regions sellers were being forced to accept up to a 26% discount off their advertised price.

"The improvement in sentiment ... is reflected in a narrowing in the gap between asking and selling prices," said Rics chief economist Brigid O'Leary.

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