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Buying a home is a dream beyond the reach of millions trapped in financial limbo, says the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).
The CIH has identified more than 3 million tenants renting private homes who are too poor to qualify for state help and not rich enough to buy their own home even though they earn an above-average income of up to £25,000.
House price analysis by the CIH shows that homebuyers need at least a £40,000 cash deposit plus extra put aside to pay for purchase and moving costs to buy a home in the most expensive areas of the country.
In London, an income of £50,000, a spotless credit background and cash for fees and costs will only just let someone put a precarious foot on the housing ladder.
Even a good income and siginificant savings in the capital will only fund buying a two-bed roomed flat at the lower end of the market.
CIH chief executive Sarah Webb wants to help these “in-betweeners” by making long-term property rental more attractive.
“This idea that an Englishman’s home is his castle gained momentum in the 1980s with right-to-buy and then post the 1990s downturn when people saw owning a home as not just accumulating somewhere to live but also an investment,” she said.
“That home ownership is out of reach for a lot of people and we need to move to a situation where renting is a positive choice.
“A golden age of home ownership is ending. The time has come to move away from the notion of ‘right-to-buy’ and ‘wrong-to-rent’.”
The report claims many youngsters fail to appreciate that they will live in a rented home for most, if not all their life, because they do not see rolling short-term tenancies as part of their future.
The CIH is urging the government to nurture a more flexible private rented sector with better social and community stability that lets people of mixed incomes have a more settled home.
The best way to attain this goal, the report suggests, is to come up with better tenancy options that offer better domestic security.
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