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Three-fifths of renters expect to buy home

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One in five private renters expect to buy a home within two years despite rental levels hitting a twenty-year peak, according to the English Housing Survey 2011-12.

Buyer timeframe expectations are constant on the previous year while roughly three-fifths expected to become owner-occupiers at some point in the future.

However, the report found the private rented sector has reached its highest level since the early 1990s and equals the size of the social rented sector. Owner-occupation has fallen from a 2003 peak of 71% to around two-thirds of households.

Charwin Private Clients director Ranald Mitchell said he was seeing more enquiries as confidence returned to the market: “The news about high loan-to-value products seems to be getting out there. We have seen a real peak in purchase enquiries from first-time buyers.

“The last five years everyone has been led by the headlines. Confidence hasn’t been there, banks haven’t been lending everything ground to a halt. But life goes on.”

Half of all private renters were aged under 35 in 2011-12, with over a third between the ages of 25 and 34.

By contrast, two-thirds of owner-occupiers buying with a mortgage were aged between 35 and 54. The vast majority were working and 83% were in full-time work. Most outright owners were aged 65 or over.

White households were most likely to be owner-occupiers, followed by Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi households. Only 27% of black households are owner-occupied.

Overall, a third of ethnic minority households lived in the private rented sector compared to 16% of white households.

Just 4% of owner-occupiers with a mortgage moved in the past year, compared to almost a third of private renters.

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