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Buying, not renting, is dream for eight in ten people

Home ownership remains the aspiration of almost all people in the UK, with private renting well down the list, a new YouGov survey has shown.

Virtually all current home owners (95%) still want to be home owners in ten years’ time. Not one aspires to renting privately, although 1% see themselves in social housing by 2023.

Of current private tenants, 64% hope to own their own homes in ten years’ time and only 21% would prefer still be to renting privately, with 4% happy to be renting socially.

Of current social tenants, 60% would be happy to still be social tenants in ten years’ time, with only 2% who would like to be private tenants in ten year’s time, and 25% who would like to be home owners.

In total, the survey – carried out for the Council of Mortgage Lenders – found that 79% aspire to own their own homes, 8% aspire to be social tenants, and just 4% aspire to be private tenants. The remainder would be happy living with family or friends, or in some other form of tenure.

The poll had a sample size of 8,183 adults and was conducted last month, before the death of Margaret Thatcher who championed home ownership.

Although the poll shows such a high rate of aspiration to home ownership, the CML says it is in fact one of the lowest levels recorded over the last 30 years.

The latest poll also pinpoints the major hurdles in the way of home ownership. Lack of savings, followed by expensive house prices and the costs associated with buying, are the main reasons cited.

When asked what would improve their chances of buying a home, an inheritance or windfall was given as the most favourable factor, followed by a pay rise, a fall in house prices and a cut in Stamp Duty.

Shared equity had very little appeal, with only 1% of respondents already living in shared ownership properties and a further 1-2% willing in principle to explore the possibility.

The CML said that home ownership remains a very strong aspiration among the British, but that no single policy action will remove all the obstacles stopping people from buying a home. The survey was conducted before the Budget announcement of the Help to Buy scheme.

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