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Phil Parry is a former BBC news and current affairs reporter. He is winner of the BT Wales award for journalist of the year, BT Wales TV reporter of the year and radio reporter of the year.
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Andrew Gregory – ‘this is terrible’

Leading property experts have endorsed the ‘terrible’ findings of a controversial report which reveal that home ownership in the 25 to 34 year age group in Wales has almost halved in 33 years.

In 1984 the proportion of those owning their own homes in Wales stood at 50 per cent of people in their late 20s and early 30s.

But last year that figure was just 28 per cent.

One Estate Agent in Cardiff, Andrew Gregory of PM Premier told us:  “This is terrible.

Buying a house is important

“So much of the economy rests on first time buyers getting their foot on the property ladder.”

Another specialist, Neil Gregory of South Wales’ leading apartment block management company Western Permanent Property said: “In fact it is not just in Wales that the issues of sky-high home prices and the resulting need for young people to rent are keenly felt”.

The problem spreads across the UK.

Since the mid-1990s home prices have grown seven times faster than incomes – denying millions the chance of a place of their own.

The study was chaired by David Willetts

Home ownership among young families has plummeted in almost every area, according to the devastating inquiry into the housing crisis facing millennials, who are classed as those born between 1981 and 2000.

The inquiry into the number of families headed by a 25 to 34-year-old that own their own home shows that the crisis now goes far beyond London.

Analysis conducted as part of a two-year investigation into intergenerational fairness in Britain, chaired by a former Conservative minister, found that millennials are being forced into increasingly cramped and expensive rented properties that leaves them with a longer commute and little chance of saving for a home.

It also finds that an increasing proportion of the young are living in overcrowded housing.

More tax may be needed

The commission conducting the investigation, which has been overseen by the Resolution Foundation thinktank and includes the former universities minister David Willetts, concludes that new taxes on property wealth may be the only way to restore fairness, and prepare the UK to pay for the care and support costs of an ageing population.

Home ownership among 25 to 34-year-olds has plummeted in Greater Manchester from 53 per cent in 1984 to 26 per cent in 2017.

Wales is not alone…

It has fallen from 54 per cent to 25 per cent in south Yorkshire, from 45 per cent to 20 per cent in the West Midlands, and from 55 per cent to 27 per cent in the south-east of England.

In outer London, the proportion has collapsed from 53 per cent to just 16 per cent.

Out of 22 areas and countries analysed by the commission, in only one – Strathclyde in Scotland – has home ownership among the young remained stable.

Young people are not happy though about housing costs

It stood at 32 per cent in 1984 and 33 per cent last year, having peaked at 45 per cent in 2002.

The news comes at a difficult time for the Conservative-led UK Government as local elections approach.

In February it was revealed in a report by the Institute For  Fiscal Studies that home ownership among young people has plummeted in the past 20 years.

Nick Boles speaks out

The Conservative MP Nick Boles said: “The collapse in home ownership among people in their twenties and thirties earning average incomes is a social and economic disaster”.

The traditional Tory dream of the UK becoming a property-owning democracy looks to be fading.

The pledge was even a key plank of the party’s 2015 General Election manifesto.

In February 2017 the UK Government launched a white paper to give people more choice and security in what it called “this broken housing market”.

It appears from the latest figures that much more needs to be done.

Not least in Wales.

Tomorrow – the need for secret recordings on Current Affairs television programmes. 


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