Parties urged to offer more help to aspiring home owners

West Yorkshire has seen one of the biggest declines in ownership
West Yorkshire has seen one of the biggest declines in ownership
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Political leaders are being urged to spell out their plans to create millions of new homes and commit to tackling injustices in the rental sector, as new figures reveal home ownership in Yorkshire has more than halved in the last 20 years.

According to new research by the Resolution Foundation, the proportion of young families getting their foot on the property ladder in some parts of the region has dropped from 61 percent in 1994 to just 30 percent in 2016.

This decline marks one of the biggest drop-offs in ownership in the country, and has been blamed on a combination of rising costs and difficulties saving for a deposit.

The think tank has welcomed election pledges from the major parties to build more new homes, but warns their targets could prove difficult to achieve and more must be done to help those consigned to the rented sector in the short-term.

“London house prices always dominate the headlines, but with all eyes on the capital we’re missing the bigger picture.” said analyst Lindsay Judge.

“From Bristol to East Anglia and up to West Yorkshire, large swathes of young families across the country simply cannot afford to buy their own home.

“This has implications for their living standards in the here and now, but also in the future when their children grow up and they approach retirement without this key asset to draw upon in old age.

“The manifestos show clear intent from all the main parties to ensure home ownership is a possibility for more young families. But these pledges need a hefty dose of reality as they depend on vastly increasing the rate at which we are currently building in the UK.

“As long as owning a home remains a pipe dream for vast numbers of young families, it’s vital that high quality, long-term rented housing is available for this group.”

The organisations figures reveal home ownership among 25-34 year-olds has decreased by 52 percent in West Yorkshire since the 1990s, which is the second biggest drop after London (63 percent). Manchester comes in third at 51 percent, while South Yorkshire and the Humber area have seen a decline of 43 percent.

All of the major parties have included commitments to build more homes in their 2017 manifestos, with the Tories retaining their promise to create one million new homes by 2020, and to add a further 500,000 by 2022.

Labour has pledged to build over a million new homes by 2022, with at least 100,000 council and housing association homes being built each year. The Lib Dems have promised to increase housebuilding to 300,000 a year.