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Homeownership Levels Declining Across the Globe

More than half of developed countries in the world have experienced a fall in property ownership

Typical UK property has an average price per square metre of £3,585 compared to an average salary of £1,825

The UK and Ireland are seeing the steepest declines in homeownership rates over the last decade, according to new research by Swinton Insurance.

Their analysis reveals that property ownership rates have fallen in 22 out of 36 developed countries in the world since 2008.

In the UK and Ireland, homeowner numbers have dropped by 11% over the last ten years, followed by 9% in Denmark, 9% in Iceland, and 7% in Slovenia.

By comparison, only three countries saw a notable rise in homeownership levels during this period, rising by 86% in Australia, 35% in Poland, and 24% in Japan.

Swinton Insurance found that the Czech Republic was the most expensive country for buyers, with average monthly salaries of £872 comparing to an average price per square metre of £2,592, whilst the least expensive is the USA, with salaries of £2,525 and just £1,791 per square metre.

Property in the UK is notably expensive, with one square metre costing £3,585 versus an average monthly salary of £1,825. But for tenants, renting is significantly cheaper, costing an average of just £877 per month, less than half the typical monthly take-home pay.

Overall, the findings show that renters in Greece in Switzerland have the best salary-to-rent ratios, owing to the low cost of renting in Greece (£345 pcm) and high average salaries in Switzerland (£4,653 per month).

Angela Bowden, Home Insurance Specialist at Swinton Insurance, commented: “It’s interesting to see that home ownership rates have dropped in developed countries globally.

“Our research shows that there are other factors at play other than just affordability – using the example of Switzerland, where salaries are so high, but the home ownership rate is very low – indicating that the cost of living and even personal preferences can dictate whether people become homeowners or not.”

According to research by lending platform Landbay, over half of UK tenants said they are not interested in becoming homeowners in the near future.

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