Fareham Property News - December 2018

Times change, but are our homes still our castles in Fareham?

'Margaret' and 'Thatcher' are perhaps two of the most divisive words in UK political history (along with 'Brexit' now, presumably). Whatever you think about her, it can't be denied, the impact of the housing policies she espoused are still being felt to this day, particularly when it comes to homeownership. But are underlying attitudes to ownership changing? And if so what does this mean for Fareham?

In 2015, there were 14-million owner-occupiers across the country. This represents the end of 12 years of decline in the the homeowner rate. Lending for first-time buyers is also the highest it has been in 20 years, with 33 per cent of first-time buyer mortgages accepted. There are also government schemes like Help to Buy that make it easier to get the keys to your new kingdom.

Currently, in Fareham, the number of people who own a home is 18,700, or 79.9 per cent of the 23,400 local population. Back in 2001, 86.4 per cent of residents owned their home, so ownership has actually decreased by 6.5 per cent. Since the mid-1990s, first-time buyers have been 'priced out' as house price increases have outstripped earnings growth.

Over the last 12 months, the average property prices have risen by around five per cent. In this period the price of your mortgage would have stayed relatively steady, whether it was a tracker of fixed for a period. Owning your place also gives you the flexibility to decorate or renovate as you see fit (as long as renovations abide by local authority regulations).

It could well be that some younger people are deliberately choosing to rent, favouring flexibility of tenure during the salad days. Most rental demand, thus far, has been met by private landlords, but the increasingly uncomfortable tax environment they face might mean institutional 'build-to-rent' starts to play a more important role.

The story of the last 20 years has been one of a growing private rented sector while home ownership shrinks. In more recent years, however, the Government has made progress in getting more young people on the housing ladder via Help-to-Buy. If you would like to talk about where we see the most significant opportunities in 2019, don't hesitate to give us a call.

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