Since the 1960’s more people have owned their own home than rented but, for many young Epsom people, the dream of buying their own home is dying...or is it? Since the turn of the Millennium, in Epsom (as in the rest of the Country) there has been a significant change in the proportion of people who own their own home in Epsom. In 2001, 83.4% of homes in Epsom were owner occupied, today the figure is 78.5%, a significant decline in such a short time. Buy to let landlords can find tenants because young people say they cannot afford a deposit to buy unless they inherit money or are given a loan from the Bank of Mum and Dad.
In Epsom, only 50.41% of 25 to 34 year olds have a mortgage. When you compare Epsom against the national
average of 35.93%, it just shows how different parts of the country have different housing markets. However,
the really interesting fact is this ...roll the clock back to 1991 and nationally, 67% of 25 to 34 year olds had a
mortgage. After WW2, the supply of properties being built kept up with demand as millions of council homes
were built (the most being built in the 1950s, surprisingly under Tory Governments!). Also private house building
increased in the 1950’s, but especially in the 1960’s and 1970’s and as the Country got more prosperous it
meant that by 1971, there were more home owners than renters.
However, since the 1970’s, the population has grown, but the number of new properties being built hasn’t
kept up at the same rate, the result is that there have been huge rises of property prices in the early ‘70s, the
late '80s and more recently between 1999 and 2004. Interestingly, since the early 1970’s, out of the 34 richest
countries in the world, the UK has seen the highest property price rises.
95% mortgages have been available to first time buyers since late 2009, but with property prices rising by
275.83% since the early Spring of 1995 in Epsom, as property prices have been rising and first time buyers
have been saving, the amount they have to save is continually rising at the same time. The stress on saving
even for that kind of deposit, coupled with the new stricter mortgage rules introduced in 2014, means that
most 20/30 something’s in Epsom are renting instead of buying.
The issue quite simply comes back down to a lack of new homes being built. In Epsom, on average
only 272 properties a year are being built whilst the population is rising by 804 a year. The supply of
new homes has been limited by planning laws, local councils not having the money to build council
houses, hard hitting green belt limitations, and our old friend NIMBY’ism. With a rising population
and net migration, especially from the EU, the mismatch between demand and supply is why we
have the problem. Until Politian’s have the backbone to realise the Country needs a lot more decent
homes built, the problem will just get worse.
In the meantime, demand for rental property will continue to grow because people need a roof over their
head at the end of the day ......fact. If you want to know what (and would not) make a decent property to buy
in Epsom for buy to let, then one place for such information would be here at the Epsom Property Blog or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org