Baby boomers would accept a fall in house prices if it helped young people to buy

Over 55s currently own 63 per cent of the UK's housing wealth

 

Almost three-quarters of British people believe that housing is driving a wedge between generations, according to new research from the National Housing Federation.

And with over 85s owning more of the UK’s housing wealth than everybody under 35, resentment seems inevitable. However, the ill-feeling may only go one way, the poll suggests.

62 per cent homeowners over 55 saying that they would accept either a stalling or a drop in house prices if it would help the young to buy, against just 52 per cent of younger homeowners.

Of the older cohort, 35 per cent would accept a drop in prices, against just 15 per cent of under 35s.

The Housing Federation suggests that the so-called Baby Boomers may be more relaxed about house prices because they are comfortably the most asset-rich segment in society, having already reaped the benefits of decades of housing price growth.

Additionally, this cohort is most likely to have children currently struggling to get on the housing ladder.

David Orr, chief executive of the Housing Federation, called on the government to heed the results and adjust its approach to housing.

“Contrary to political opinion, the British public are no longer obsessed with perpetual house price growth. In fact, the overwhelming majority would now accept a less buoyant market if it made life easier for the next generation. Nobody wants a crash, and we are certainly not advocating one, but politicians need to hear this.

“That so many who stand to benefit would today pass up the opportunity to do so demonstrates the extent of public empathy and underlines the severity of the problem for the young.

The National Housing Federation hosts its annual conference in Birmingham this week.

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