Labour conference latest: Pete Redfern shares headline findings of his year-long review into home ownership

The long-term decline in home ownership looks set to bottom out, according to Taylor Wimpey chief executive Pete Redfern.

At a Labour conference fringe meeting yesterday evening (Tuesday), Redfern (pictured) presented the headline findings of the year-long investigation into home ownership that he has been carrying out for the party’s former housing and planning spokesperson John Healey.

Modelling carried out for Redfern’s review shows that the decline in the level of home ownership, which has fallen from a peak of 71% of total households in 2003 to 64% this year, has largely run its course.

Redfern said three factors had fueled the decline in the proportion of the population owning their own homes. They were declining incomes amongst younger would be first time buyers, the post-crash tightening of mortgage lending standards and a relative decline in the cost of renting.

He said there had been a sharp fall in the number of first time buyers due to relative decline in younger people’s incomes, which he said had been partly counterbalanced by a slight increase in home ownership amongst the older population.

The ability of younger people to access home ownership had been exacerbated by a “significant tightening of mortgage lending standards, which meant that would be home owners needed bigger deps ad more equity. -.

But he said that while younger people are renting for longer periods, their underlying desire for owner occupation has not changed.

At an earlier meeting, Healey said that housing and planning was riper for devolution to a local level than any other policy area.

“It’s hard to think of another area where markets and policy have failed as much as in housing and planning. The housing crisis is different in different areas,” he said, pointing to how house prices had ballooned in London since the crash of 2008/09, while they had barely recovered in other areas. He added that a number of measures in the Conservative government’s recently passed Housing and Planning Act had centralised housing and planning powers, such as stipulating that councils should earmark affordable housing contributions for starter homes, irrespective of local market conditions.