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To think majority owning homes is a historical blip?

(29 Posts)
brasty Tue 29-Nov-16 09:23:46

Owning a home is talked about as if it is something everyone should achieve. And yet there has only been a very short time historically when the majority of the population were home owners rather than renters. The peak of home ownership was 2001, not the 70s or 80s as many seem to assume when they talk about baby boomers.

"In 1918 the majority, or 77%, of households in England and Wales rented, with the remaining in ownership.

From 1953 ownership started to increase at a faster rate than in previous decades and by 1971 there was an equal percentage of households owning and renting.
Ownership continued to increase, reaching a peak of 69% in 2001, however in the last decade it has fallen to 64%.
Within the rental sector policies following the World Wars impacted on the percentage of those socially renting. In 1918 just 1% of households socially rented and this reached a peak of 31% in 1981.
Between 2001 and 2011, the number of households buying their homes through a mortgage fell by 749,000. Some factors that might have impacted on mortgage buyers are: high house prices, low wage growth and tighter lending requirements.
The percentage of households renting increased in all English regions and in Wales in the decade to 2011. London had the highest percentage of renters, accounting for 50.4% of households in the region."

wasonthelist Tue 29-Nov-16 09:59:45

YANBU My parents were the first generation on either side to own their own homes. The problem is that successive governements have been engineering housing as an investment.

brasty Tue 29-Nov-16 13:17:24

Yes I know Governments want us to own homes that we can then sell to pay for care.

JellyBelli Tue 29-Nov-16 13:22:32

YANBU. I support council and social housing.
Owning a home is the biggest rip off of the last few decades. People pay back 2.5 times the value of the property to the lender and call it a good investment.

LurkingHusband Tue 29-Nov-16 13:25:37

I suspect in 100 years, quite a few things will be regarded in a "how on earth did they do that ?" sort of light.

Private home ownership being one. Private motoring being another. And probably the welfare state for a third.

Want to know what the future holds ? Look back, my friend, look back.

Cherylene Tue 29-Nov-16 13:25:54

Some of the stories about renting on MN remind me of my Grandma's stories of the landlords, pre-war and pre-council housing.

It is not just home owning, but standards of renting. It is like most of the 20th Century was a blip. We seem to be going the same way with politics and access to health care.

c3pu Tue 29-Nov-16 13:29:32

People pay back 2.5 times the value of the property to the lender and call it a good investment.

As opposed to paying say, 4 times the value of a property in rent and then having nothing to show for it after 25 years?

Amelie10 Tue 29-Nov-16 13:32:01

As opposed to paying say, 4 times the value of a property in rent and then having nothing to show for it after 25 years?

Exactly, how is this then a better investment?

ThroughThickAndThin01 Tue 29-Nov-16 13:40:18

I was going to comment too c3pu. Seemed a naive statement.

Lurking very jolly grin

DinosaursRoar Tue 29-Nov-16 13:41:38

YANBU - problem is, we've arranged a lot based on the model of owner occupation - eg. our national end of life care plans involve assuming there's going to be an asset to sell to cover the costs in the majority of cases, which will be fine for the baby boomers, but their DCs aren't all going to own a property to be sold to pay for it. Pensions don't need to be good enough to cover housing, the assumption is you'll own your property by retirement so you just need enough for your food & bills, and if you need an extra lump sum, you can downsize. Rental rights are based round the idea of younger people renting for a few years while they save for a deposit or while they work /study in places they aren't going to live long term - so tenancies don't need to be long term arrangements.

If in our DCs generation it's only the richer of the middle classes & uppers who own, then all of those policies will need to be looked at for the bulk of the population who won't be owners.

DinosaursRoar Tue 29-Nov-16 13:51:46

Agree that actually housing is a good investment if you plan to live in a house long term and don't have somewhere else you can live for free nor are likely to be able to just buy a house for cash. If you have to pay housing costs, a mortgage makes sense - we'll have cleared the morgage before I'm 50, which means I'll have 15 years or more before retirement without housing costs to save, and no housing costs in retirement.

Taking out a mortgage is a sensible way to house yourself if you can afford it, the problem is the large numbers who won't be able to afford it, and will still need home security and another way of saving for old age.

Thefishewife Tue 29-Nov-16 14:05:00

The only people support council housing are people often who have never and will never live in one its shit

I lived in council housing all my life up until two years ago wehn we could finally buy

The reasons why it's shit
you have to live were your out and odds on its on a shit hole coucil easte
It takes forever to get repairs done
The repairs are often substandard
They often don't actually fix the root issues rather patch up
You cant do anything to your home
If you have shit neighbours the coucil do nothing even if there braking there tenancey
My rent was only £200 less than my mortgage on my 4 bed home
If you need to move for work or for other reasons you pretty much can't

No thanks 2 years of owning our own home much better everyone on my streets works for starters
We don't have half the issues with troubled families
If we need to relocate we can just sell and move we picked were our home is near to our family's and schools we want our children to go to

Our mortgage is only £200 more than what we were paying in rent we were basically paying for a sub standard house that was crumbling with rats in the walls that was about as big as a fucking shoe box

One postive and this is the only one it did allow us to save a buy our own place and personally this is were coucil homes have missed a trick I would be staying to younger families look 5 year low rent say £370 a month at the end of the five years you will have saved up enough for a home

If your on a really low income council homes must be good but tbh if your on a medium wage but just can't afford to live anywhere because yur in London and the prices are mad then not so much

brasty Tue 29-Nov-16 14:08:22

It was different though when most people lived in council houses. There were "posh" council house estates and rough ones. I lived in a rough one but aspired to a posh one. Now the council houses that would have been seen as in posher areas, have all been sold off, and only the very rough estates where I used to live are still council housing. Because nobody in their right mind would buy there.

Thefishewife Tue 29-Nov-16 14:13:01

But to be honest even if everywhere was coucil then there still would be rough areas a posh areas

Thing about coucil homes you don't really get to choose were you want to live they give you the aullsion you can choose

My friend went to look at a 3 bed house on a really rough estate housing offer told her look I worked here for 5 years and this is the first 3 bed that's Coke up so take it or don't but you know it may be another 5 years her house is actually really nice however her son is currently in a youth offenders due to being co opted in to the easte Gang and used as a drug runner 🙁

user1837559372496 Tue 29-Nov-16 14:14:47


FrankAndBeans Tue 29-Nov-16 14:17:02

YABU. I've lived in a council flat and rented and they were both utterly shit compared to owning my own home. I'm paying off an investment instead of paying someone else's mortgage.

Thefishewife Tue 29-Nov-16 14:21:03

It's about your ability to get out of doge so to speak

As home owners I can sell, move and rent out my home if I need to go alway I can have a lodger in in money's tight

With coucil homes there are even rules how long you can be away before you have to give it back

Who can stay and for how long

Rules about lodgers

Also just a simple thing like needing to move for work will effectivly make you homes getting a coucil home else were is neigh impossible

Basicbrown Tue 29-Nov-16 14:22:01

Yabu for mentioning 1918 in terms of housing policy. The lucky people with outside toilets, damp, little heat, no electricity. Slums, people getting nasty diseases because of poor sanitation.

Why should it be a blip after all someone has to own houses and the most logical person to me to own a property is the person who lives there.

gillybeanz Tue 29-Nov-16 14:22:57

YANBU with your history, but owning your own home has always been looked upon as something to achieve.
I can remember my Dad telling me his Grandads view of investing in bricks n mortar always being a sound investment. This must have been early 20th Century.

Paying a mortgage is far better than renting at twice the price and it's yours at the end. Or at least your dc if you are savvy enough grin

smilingmind Tue 29-Nov-16 14:25:04

I think you are right OP.
In my experience renting was the norm before WWII.
Many homes were rented from private landlords. The renters had security of tenure and rents were controlled.
A friend of mine, when a student in the 1960s, lived in a flat in a very expensive part of London. He had inherited the lease when his father died and the rent was very low.
Countries like Germany have similar rules in place and I believe the majority of people rent by choice.
Housing has become out of control here. BTL landlords and private investors push up house prices and renting is expensive and insecure.
Not sure what can be done about it although I totally agree something should.
Governments won't do anything to upset their voters. The majority of whom are home owners as owning a house is really necessary here if at all possible.

DinosaursRoar Tue 29-Nov-16 14:27:20

oh I think under the current arrangements - owning is much better than renting, both privately or council. However, realistically, unless there's a big downward shift in the housing market, it's quite likely that the percentage of the population who own will drop. When that happens, policies around renting rights and the assumption of a property to sell to pay for care/no housing costs in old age will have to be shifted.

Already you're hearing rumblings, the Labour party was beginning to cotton on about a sizable group of voters who were unable to buy who'd come from house owning families and now wanted renting rights. They've got rather quiet about that recently, but renter rights might become more of a political issue when the democraphic of who's a long term renter changes.

drspouse Tue 29-Nov-16 14:33:27

Social housing has up and down sides. It is not all awful.
My late MIL and FIL were in social housing all their lives (and that's what you did then. I'm not completely sure about my FIL when he was young as he lived in a tiny village and they may have owned the cottage).

When my DH was small their house was not particularly good quality and they were moved into a tower block with paper thin walls. DH had a strong extended family, went to church youth group, and would no more have joined a gang than flown to the moon.

They did move back into a house (we're talking 70s/80s here) and then DH moved into his own place and they were moved (not their choice) into a smaller place, then into a "retirement" flat which was one bedroom.

So they had little choice about which property they lived in, though they were literally round the corner from each other, no nonsense about moving them to a new area.

But they could do what they liked to it and I am pretty sure their kitchen etc. were renewed on a timetable, ditto carpets. Repairs were done well and quickly - when I knew them it was a HA. FIL was very handy and did all the painting (till DH pointed out to him his eyesight wasn't what it had been), made lots of bits and pieces etc. When they needed a bit more help or at least help on hand the HA installed grab handles/emergency cords/a key box for the carer to get in.

It was solid and warm (usually too warm for us!), and their street and the one next door had fenced off the alley in between and turned it into a lovely little garden.

DH felt they were very well looked after when they retired but wished they could have been better looked after when he was younger.

gillybeanz Tue 29-Nov-16 14:37:43

I don't like this government and would never vote conservative.
I have invested a small inheritance in a couple of shells and done them up ourselves. One is tenanted now and the other will probably be sold on for a profit and reinvested in another shell.
If people could invest their money in something else that was guaranteed to level or beat inflation long term I'm sure they would.
I would never invest in stocks and shares as risk averse, so people like me have little choice these days.

BroomstickOfLove Tue 29-Nov-16 14:37:49

And when the current generation of homeowners end up housing their adult children who have the choice of living in the parental home and saving some money or living in hugely expensive insecure tenancies.

brasty Tue 29-Nov-16 14:41:07

I am not arguing whether owning or renting is better.
Simply that the majority of people owning their own house in Britain has only happened for a very very short space of time. It is not the norm, and there is no reason ever that it would be.

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