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Redbridge residents forced to rent as census reveals drop in home ownership

09:00 21 December 2012

A growing number of residents in the borough are struggling to get a foot on the property ladder and are being forced into rented accommodation, according to census figures.

Since 2001, the proportion of homes in Redbridge owned with a mortgage has dropped by 19 per cent, despite the easy lending by banks in the early part of the decade.

The borough saw the 10th highest drop in the proportion of homes owned or part-owned in London, behind Hackney and Hammersmith and Fulham with 20 per cent.

The drop was calculated on the percentage changes, compared with the number of homes which fell from 41,546 to 36,075.

Paul Silver, 52, from Silver Service Estate Agents, Woodford Avenue, Gants Hill, said: “The figures don’t surprise me at all. If you look at Redbridge as a whole, the people who live here have changed considerably over the past decade with more people coming into the area from eastern Europe to rent.”

There has been a 9.6 per cent increase in the number of people renting from a private landlord compared with 10 years ago.

Mr Silver added: “Lenders have made it so difficult to get a mortgage so renting is a must and is becoming a lot more widespread than just Ilford. I now see more mature first time buyers – before there were much younger people buying homes.”

Housing and homeless charity, Shelter, is warning that if trends continue, the next generation will be bringing up their families in insecure rented accommodation or at home with their parents.

Homeowners account for 63.6 per cent of residents.

Cllr Michelle Dunn, cabinet member for housing, said: “There have been a number of factors which have affected home ownership. The economic downturn has impacted on values and confidence in the housing market. There has been an increase in unemployment and fear of unemployment which also discourages prospective buyers.

“We currently promote any new schemes in the borough as well as development and flexible home ownership incentives which could help get residents on the property ladder. We also seek to increase the number of schemes which come forward through working with housing providers and identifying suitable opportunities”.

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