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Increase in people renting homes from private landlords

Published 05/10/2015

The proportion of households renting from private landlords has more than doubled, figures show
The proportion of households renting from private landlords has more than doubled, figures show

More people are renting homes from private landlords than at any point in the last 30 years, a think tank has found.

The proportion of households renting from private landlords has more than doubled, with a steep decline in the percentage of people in council houses.

In 1985, 30% of households were rented from public landlords and 9% from private landlords. Today, some 22% rent from private landlords and 9% from public.

The ResPublica study found that in 1985 some 61% of the UK's households owned their own home, a figure which increased through the 1990s but dropped off from 2000 as property prices became out of reach to many people, with the proportion now the same as it was 30 years ago.

Thirty years ago Margaret Thatcher told the Conservative Party conference her goals of a society " where three out of four families own their home; where owning shares is as common as having a car; where families have a degree of independence their forefathers could only dream about".

The new report, published by ResPublica and Co-operatives UK, examines what happened to those targets.

After an initial increase in the late 1980s, individual share ownership has halved; and only 11% of the total value of UK traded shares is now owned by individuals.

Instead, there has been a sharp increase in the amount of shares in overseas ownership. At the end of the 1980s, 13% of the total market value of UK shares was foreign owned but now it is 53%.

Some 76% of households own a car or van now; only 19% of adults own shares.

ResPublica director Phillip Blond said: "Lady Thatcher's vision of an economy with widespread ownership has not yet been realised.

"This is a major fault line in our society because where there is ownership there are stakeholders creating decent civilised communities. If we want people and places to flourish, we must have mass ownership.

"It is only where there is ownership that people want to protect and care for what they own, creating a legacy for themselves, their children and their communities.

"At the moment we are failing to extend economic ownership to everyone, ownership is an unrealisable dream for too many.

"Welfare has failed to save the poor from their lot, only the possibility of mass ownership offers the possibility of ending poverty, this is our dream and this should be the aim of all our policy."

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