In the United Kingdom, homeownership has fallen while renting is on the rise
Editor’s note: In case you missed it, watch an event held on April 21 discussing lessons from around the world related to policies to support stable, affordable rental housing.
APRIL 20, 2021
Homeownership has been in decline in the United Kingdom, falling from an all-time high of 70.9% in 2003 to 63.9% in 2018. This decline has coincided with a revival of the private rental market. Due to a lack of moderately priced owner-occupied housing, privately owned and social rental housing is particularly common among young and lower-income households, and in urban areas.
The country’s main political concern is the lack of low- and moderately priced housing (usually referred to as “affordable” housing), which has prompted a flurry of housing policies aimed at improving affordability. However, since the 1980s, the political focus has shifted from providing social rental housing to policies aimed at facilitating access to homeownership. While most of the British government’s policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic focused on homeownership, some also aimed to protect renters.