An exclusive survey found that 37% of renters say that homeownership is out of reach for good and at another 71% say they couldn’t buy without family help.
A landmark survey is seriously questioning David Cameron’s pledge to build a property-owning democracy by revealing that almost four in ten of those currently not owning a home believe they never will.
The poll, exclusively commissioned by the Observer, on attitudes to British housing crisis revealed that 69% of people think the country is in the “throes of a housing crisis”. Furthermore, an incredible 71% of aspiring property owners voice doubts that they’ll ever be able to buy a home without financial help from family members.
A total of 67% would like to buy their own home eventually, whilst 37% beleive buying will stay a dream for forever and another 26% estimate it will take them up to five years.
The supply of affordable homes is short and demand for social housing on the rise, leading more than half of Brits to name immigration and a glut of foreign investment in UK property as factors for sky-high prices.
The poll, revealing that 58% would like more, not less, social housing as a way to ease the crisis, has been published as the Government’s highly controversial housing and planning bill returns to the Commons on Tuesday.
The idea behind the bill is to force councils to sell much of their social housing and hinder lifelong council tenancies with the introduction of pay to stay rules that will better-off council tenants to pay rents closer to market levels.
Housing experts described this as “the beginning of the end of council housing” as the bill has been savaged by cross-party groups in the Lords.
Furthermore, the Government’s flagship plan for “starter homes” has also been attacked at more than one occasion for their unaffordability, considering in London prices will start from £450,000.
Keeping the upcoming local elections and the London mayoral election in mind, ministers now face the dilemma of whether to back down and accept many of the Lords’ amendments to the bill or risk legislative deadlock.
Last Saturday, Labour’s candidate for mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who is putting plans for more affordable housing at the heart of his campaign, described the bill as “the most extreme in terms of housing in a generation”.
The party’s housing spokesman, John Healey, said: “Opposition to this bill now comes from across the board: from housebuilders, housing experts, charities and even Conservative ministers’ own council leaders, MPs and peers. It seems that government ministers are alone in thinking their bill is fit for purpose when it comes to tackling our housing crisis.”
“Despite the string of concessions the government was forced to make, this remains an extraordinary and extreme bill that will lead to a huge loss of affordable homes to rent and buy. Ministers need to listen to the opposition coming from all sides and back down on their damaging housing plans.”
Khan’s opponent, Tory candidate Zac Goldsmith, announced his plans to build 50,000 homes a year by 2020 and to ensure that a significant proportion of new homes will only be available for rent.
The research was conducted only five days after the Panama Papers scandal revealed that a significant amount of London’s most expensive properties are now owned by foreigners via offshore companies.
As an answer to being asked what measures they would like to see actioned to restrict foreign ownership of British property, 71% backed a ban on foreign owners buying British properties as investments or as buy-to-let, 60% backed higher taxes for foreign buyers involved in buy-to-let schemes.
A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said the Government unveiled the “most ambitious vision for housing in a generation”, investing more than £8bn to deliver 400,000 affordable homes.
“There are billions of pounds locked up in local authority housing assets so it is only right that when higher value homes become vacant they are sold to build new homes that better meet local needs,” the spokesman said. “It means every home sold will be replaced with at least one new affordable home and two for one in London.”
Source: The Guardian