Keys

Home ownership in major English cities has fallen dramatically since the early 2000s, according to a think tank.

The Resolution Foundation said the West Midlands, West Yorkshire and outer areas of London saw double digit declines in the number of people who own their own home. But the problem was particularly prominent in Manchester whether the proportion fell from 72% in April 2003 to 58% this year.

Speaking to the BBC, Matthew Whittaker, chief economist at the Resolution Foundation, said: "What we particularly have seen since 2002-03 is that incomes simply haven't kept pace with house prices, so it's not just that house prices have gone up.

"We had access to lots of relatively easy credit and the position we're in now is that credit has been turned off.

"We have this sense now that house prices have become detached from people's earning's... and we no longer have the route through 100% mortgages and the like for getting on to the housing ladder."

Overall, home ownership in England peaked at 71% in 2003, but now stands at 64%.

With average house prices surging to over £200,000, and deposits increasingly difficult to secure, the think tank said struggling to buy a home is no longer a 'London-centric' issue.

Stephen Clarke, policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: "London has a well-known and fully blown housing crisis, but the struggle to buy a home is just as big a problem in cities across the North of England.

"The chances of owning a home have fallen fastest in Greater Manchester over the last decade, though the Leeds and Sheffield city areas have also experienced sharp drops."

The research also showed that falling home ownership corresponds with an increase in rent with private landlords. In Greater Manchester, just 6% of the population rented privately, but that figure has risen to 20% in 2016.

"The shift to renting privately can reduce current living standards and future wealth, with implications for individuals and the state," Mr Clarke said.

"We cannot allow other cities to edge towards the kind of housing crisis that London has been saddled with."