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Environment / Climate change

This one chart explains why young Londoners are so angry about housing

So the British think tank the Resolution Foundation just published its annual Living Standards report. Its 78 pages are packed with interesting and terrifying facts, and obviously we’ve already read and digested all of them.

Okay, that’s a lie, we skipped straight to the section on housing. Here’s what we found.

1) Low to middle income households* are increasingly unlikely to own their own home

Twenty years ago, 70 per cent of those households were homeowners. Actually, that was still true as recently as 15 years ago.

By 2014, that was down to 55 per cent and falling steadily. Over the same period, the proportion of them renting privately has risen from 10 per cent to 27 per cent. Yay.

2) This trend is far more pronounced among the young

This is the same figures, but only showing households aged under 35:

Blooooooody hell.

Once again, the proportion in social housing is surprisingly stable. But the proportion of owners has collapsed, from a majority (around 58 per cent) in 1997-8, to only a quarter by 2013-14.

Most of those people have all ended up in the private rental sector, which has gone from 21 per cent of households to 53 per cent.

Terrific.

3) The problem is far, far more pronounced among young Londoners

In 1996-97, owner occupation was still, just barely, the most popular tenure among less affluent young households (accounting for about 40 per cent of them).

By the time of the most recent data available, though, it was the least popular, accounting for just 13 per cent of them, about one in eight. Some 70 per cent of those households are now private renters.

Note that this chart uses three year averages.

In the unlikely event that you’ve ever wondered why young Londoners never stop banging on about housing, this is why.


You can read the full Resolution Foundation report here.

*Low to middle income households, incidentally are those in the 10th to 50th percentiles of the income distribution – that is, the bottom half, except the bottom 10th – excluding anyone who receives less than 20 per cent of their income from means tested benefits. So, there you go.
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