Home truths for the UK prop­erty mar­ket

Macclesfield Express - - SPORT -

IT is of­ten said that the UK is a na­tion of home own­ers, more so than in many other parts of Europe, but new data sug­gests oth­er­wise.

While 65 per cent of peo­ple are home own­ers in Bri­tain, 73 per cent are in Italy, 79 per cent in Spain and 84 per cent in Poland.

France has the same num­ber as the UK and Ger­many less at just 54 per cent, ac­cord­ing to a study by mort­gage com­pany Credit Foncier based on Euro­pean Union sta­tis­tics.

The study ob­serv­ing eight Euro­pean coun­tries also shows the Dutch spend more of their in­come on prop­erty but pay less for their homes, as prices fell be­tween 2006 and 2015. Buy­ers in the UK have seen prices rise by 30 per cent.

More new re­search, by Dutch bank ING, has found that peo­ple who own their own home are gen­er­ally hap­pier than those who rent; in the UK this di­vide is more marked com­pared to the rest of Europe. Fewer than half of UK renters are happy with their sit­u­a­tion com­pared with 80 per cent of home own­ers, while in the rest of Europe it is 57 per cent and 77 per cent.

ING said that this may be linked to af­ford­abil­ity and a less well de­vel­oped rent­ing mar­ket. The bank’s se­nior econ­o­mist Ian Bright sug­gests the UK hous­ing mar­ket as a whole presents unique chal­lenges. He said: “The rate of house con­struc­tion is the low­est in Europe, which re­sults in a per­sis­tent mis­match be­tween lev­els of sup­ply and de­mand.

“Many of those look­ing to buy a house are left won­der­ing if they will ever get on the hous­ing lad­der at all.”

In the UK, de­spite prices ris­ing in­ces­santly over the past years, just 54 per cent con­sider homes ex­pen­sive; a smaller pro­por­tion than the 60 per cent across Europe. Few peo­ple be­lieve prices will fall, and 40 per cent be­lieve that house prices will never fall.

But peo­ple in the UK do not nec­es­sar­ily feel trapped by the sit­u­a­tion.

The sur­vey found that a third of Bri­tish peo­ple said they had been forced to stay in their cur­rent home be­cause of ris­ing prices com­pared to 50 per cent across Europe. This varies largely from coun­try to coun­try with a large pro­por­tion of all Euro­peans be­liev­ing that prop­erty prices will im­mi­nently level out.


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