Fewer than one in 10 low-paid young people now own their own home, as the chronic housing crisis gripping Britain deepens.
A grim report today outlines the harsh reality facing hard-up families trying to get on the property ladder.
Latest figures show that in 2015/16, only 8% of young adults on low incomes were home-owners compared with 64% of those pocketing big sums, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
Meanwhile, Local Government Association research found more than 400,000 homes which have been given planning permission are still waiting to be built.
The IFS stats show that even among young adults on middle incomes, home-ownership levels have “collapsed” over the past 20 years.
Those on salaries between £22,200 and £30,600 – in the middle 20% for their age – have a one in four chance of being on the property ladder compared with two in three two decades ago.
IFS senior research economist Andrew Hood said: “Home-ownership among young adults has collapsed over the past 20 years, particularly for those on middle incomes.
“For that group, their chances of owning their own home have fallen from two in three in the mid-1990s to just one in four today.
“The reason for this is that house prices have risen around seven times faster in real terms than the incomes of young adults over the last two decades.”
Average house prices were 152% higher in 2015/16 than 20 years earlier after adjusting for inflation, the report adds.
Town hall chiefs have urged house builders to start constructing homes for which they have already been give permission in a bid to ease the shortage.
The number of “unimplemented planning permissions” – where homes have not been built despite councils giving developers the green light – climbed from 365,146 in 2015-16 to 423,544 in 2016-17.
It now takes an average of 40 months from schemes receiving planning permission to building work being completed – eight months longer than in 2013/14, the LGA revealed.
Its housing spokesman Martin Tett said: “These figures prove that the planning system is not a barrier to house building.
“In fact the opposite is true. In the last year, councils and their communities granted twice as many planning permissions as the number of new homes that were completed.
“No-one can live in a planning permission; councils need greater powers to act where house building has stalled.
“To tackle the new homes backlog and to get the country building again, councils also need the freedom to borrow and invest in desperately-needed new homes, as recognised by the influential Treasury Select Committee last month.
“Our national housing shortage is one of the most pressing issues we face.
“While private developers have a key role to play in solving our housing crisis, they cannot meet the 300,000 house building target set by the Government on their own.”
Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey said the IFS research “should be a wake-up call”.
He added: “After almost eight years of failure on housing, the Government is still failing to tackle the fundamental problems with our broken housing market.
“Conservative ministers have let down first-time buyers on ordinary incomes.
“They promised to build 200,000 new cut-price ‘starter homes’, but three years on not a single one has been built.”
Meanwhile, Housing Minister Dominic Raab announced £45million for 79 projects to help build 7,280 homes on council-owned land.
He said: “It’s part of our strategy to build the homes Britain needs and carry local communities with us.
“We’re determined to make buying or renting more affordable for young families and those on low or middle incomes.”
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