The new housing crisis is upon us - and it's those who already own property that should be worried

 
Jake Cordell
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Dreaming of a house in the suburbs? Owning a flat in the city might not cover it
Dreaming of a house in the suburbs? Owning a flat in the city might not cover it (Source: Getty)

We hear an awful lot about the "housing crisis" in the UK and - particularly - in the capital.

At one end of the ladder, rents are rising faster than wages and house prices are going up quicker than people can save for a deposit. At the other, new taxes and regulations on second homes have helped to cool the market - but that probably doesn't mean much to those plugging away with their help to buy ISAs.

Map: How much do you need to earn to live in every London postcode?

The great swath of the population in between, however, are curiously left out of the debate. If you're not a renter, first-time buyer or somebody eyeing up their second Mayfair pad, the public debate about housing may feel a little far off.

Research from Uswitch.com, published today, however, has shown this middle group of homeowners should also be worried about the housing crisis. Researchers there claim people who own a home are not doing enough to climb that ladder, instead relying on rising house prices to help tide them over.

Mind the gap

Property type Change in value 2006 - 2016
Flat 15 per cent
House 21 per cent

This could be a problem for people looking to upgrade, since in many areas the prices of bigger homes are rising faster than little ones - meaning for those who aren't saving, the gap between the rungs on the housing ladder are getting further and further apart.

Across the country, the average house price has increased by 21 per cent, while the average cost of a flat has grown by just 15 per cent. So, while those with their name on the deeds to somewhere have increased their wealth, the gap between owning a flat and a house has actually increased.

Read more: Tale of two cities in London housing market

Nearly half of all would-be home-movers say they won't be saving extra cash for the big move, which Uswitch claims will leave them in "deposit deficit" territory. Moreover, 61 per cent say they aren't even saving to cover any big upfront costs of moving home such as stamp duty, surveying, removal teams or storage, which can set you back up to £12,000 on their own.

Tashema Jackson at Uswitch said those on the bottom rungs of the ladder had "been lulled into a false sense of security by rising house prices. In some parts of the country houses have far outstripped flats, so if you are looking to move up the property ladder you need to carefully plot your steps."

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