Homeowners could be a minority within a generation

Report says that we are at a turning point in how we finance and build new homes

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The Independent Online

More than half the country could be living in rented accommodation within 30 years, says a new report.

The 'Nation Rent' study from property campaiginging group Million Homes, Million Lives says there could be "permanent structural change" in the UK housing market. It argues that on current trends by 2033, owner occupation could be as low as 55 per cent, falling to below 50 per cent by 2041.

Owner-occupiers currently make up 65 per cent of householders, down from 71 per cent ten years ago.

However, the report emphasises that despite this trend, more than three quarters of people in private rented housing and nearly half of those in social rented housing actually want to buy their own home. Only around three per cent choose long-term renting as their first choice.

Report co-author Natalie Elphicke said: "We are at a turning point in how we finance and build new homes through pension funds and other large investors who intend to rent the homes out for the very long term. Yet it needs to be possible for people to buy their homes as their circumstances allow in order to meet the home-owning aspirations of the British people. It would be wrong to allow the current trends to continue.

"We need a creative and imaginative new approach to bring big new players into housing finance and unlock their wealth in a way that will be good for people seeking a home of their own and for investors looking for good long-term returns. "

Her co-author Calum Mercer added:"The solution lies in overhauling housing markets so that they attract far more investment from big financial institutions and create mixed portfolios of housing spread across owner occupation, private renting and social housing."