This YouGov SixthSense report looks at the current shape of the
UK housing market and the role of estate agents and conveyancers in
The aspiration to own a home is high and has been encouraged by
the UK Government since the 1970s, with such policies as Margaret
Thatcher's 'Right to Buy' initiative of the 1980s, whereby tenants
were able to buy their council houses at favourable prices. Along
with arguably over-zealous mortgage lending, such strategies
resulted in the incidence of home ownership peaking at 71% in 2003
- much higher than in many other EU countries where renting is
considered the norm.
A rising population and a shortage of land have contributed to a
subsequent and significant shortfall in housing in the UK, not
least because insufficient affordable housing was built to replace
the homes lost to the rental market through the Right to Buy
scheme. While a low return on traditional investments has made the
buying of a second home an attractive investment option for the
more affluent, including foreigners seeking a safe haven for their
money, the housing shortage and tightening of credit have made
getting that first foot on the property ladder increasingly
difficult and a generation is growing up unable to buy a home.
To download a table of contents for this report, click here.