Friday 23 July 2021 12:34 pm

Covid sharpens inequalities in UK housing market

The Covid crisis has widened inequalities in the UK housing market, according to new research published today.

Figures from building society Nationwide show one in four private renters think the pandemic has made it more difficult for them to buy a home.

Sharp rises in house prices over the last year, driven by demand being stoked by the stamp duty holiday and prospective homebuyers rushing to snap up larger properties with gardens, has reduced housing affordability for first-time-buyers.

Read more: House prices surge 5.7 per cent to reach another record high

Research from property search site Rightmove shows house prices jumped 5.7 per cent annually in July to reach a record high.

Homeownership rates have dropped markedly over the last 15 years, the research shows. 57 per cent of households in the UK now own their home, compared to 64 per cent in 2003.

63 per cent of the country also thinks the UK has a housing crisis, underlining the need to increase home supply to ease inflationary pressures in the market.

Sara Bennison, chief product and marketing officer at Nationwide Building Society, said: “Our research and cross-industry conversations show that the pandemic has served to exacerbate long-standing issues in the housing market. 

“Layer onto that the enormous challenge of making the UK’s homes net zero and the challenge ahead becomes even greater.”

Read more: Property transactions surge to record high in June