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Most want to own - but many prefer to rent, admits mortgage chief

Most want to own - but many prefer to rent, admits mortgage chief

The long-term aspiration of most Britons to own their home has not been deterred by the Brexit vote, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

A blog by CML chief economist Bob Pannell says that many initial observations of the housing market immediately after the unexpected Brexit referendum result were pessimistic but "we would do well to re-assess their importance against market fundamentals," - one of which could be what he calls "the UK's strong bedrock desire for home ownership."

A YouGov survey, commissioned by the CML, assessed the public's 'tenure aspirations' in the immediate aftermath of the referendum, between June 24 and July 7.

The chief outcome was that aspirations to home-ownership have remained consistently strong. 

"When asked about their preferred tenure in two years' time, 72 per cent of adults reported that they would like to be home-owners. Looking further ahead, 10 years from now, 80 per cent of respondents hope to be home-owners," Pannell writes.

"While we cannot rule out the possibility that the Brexit vote may have dented the desire for home-ownership, the underlying preference for this tenure is clear. Indeed, the proportion of adults hoping to be home-owners in 10 years' time remains in line with its 30-year average," he says. This is even with the well-documented issues regarding affordability and first time buyers. 

"But not all younger adults wish to get on to the housing ladder quickly, as many view renting privately or living with family and friends as attractive short-term alternatives," says Pannell.

The full survey findings will be released in August.


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