Monday, 12 May 2014

Fun Online Polls: EU Parliament elections & The rise in owner-occupation during the 20th century

The responses to last week's Fun Online Polls, on a very good turnout of 152, were as follows:

How do you intend to vote in the EU Parliament elections?

BNP - 3%
Conservatives - 1%
English Democrats - 0%
Greens - 2%
Labour - 5%
Liberal Democrats - 2%
No2EU - 2%
Pirate Party - 2%
UKIP - 74%
Undecided - 3%
I won't bother voting - 6%

That pretty much speaks for itself, I would have thought!
This week's Fun Online Poll is something else which has been bugging me for years.

We Brits pride ourselves on the rapid increase in the number owner occupiers during the 20th century, and it is generally accepted in this country that owner-occupation is the best form of tenure (although it appears to reduce employment levels).

The most rapid increase was between 1950 and 1990, up from 30% to 68%. UK government housing policies during the bulk of the 20th century and for most of this period were quite the opposite of what we have been doing for the last twenty years, as a result of which, owner-occupation levels have started falling again.

In economist's terms, this is easy to explain, I'm just wondering whether people have forgotten what it was that we were doing?

So vote here or use the widget in the sidebar.


Robin Smith said...

A mortgagor is an owner occupier only nominally.

They are a de facto tenant to the bank.

Reality numbers for owner occupation are under 30%, and across all history this has always been the case.

How many times do I have to keep telling you. If you don't face up to reality you will never be able to see how it all works.

Mark Wadsworth said...

RS, you are missing the point, and your figures are incorrect.

If you can buy your house with a small mortgage and pay it off after ten years, then clearly, you are tenant on day one, then part-tenant, part-owner for a few years, and true owner-occupier after ten years.

In the good old days (UK in 20the century), people could pay off their mortgages within ten years (if they put their minds to it), so for most of their lives they were not tenants.

Your 30% figure is not even correct today. We have about two-thirds owner-occupiers, and half of those are mortgage free = one-third true owner-occupiers.

Of the half that have mortgages, the average mortgage is only half the value of the house, so on average, half of the remaining third are true owner-occupiers = one-sixth.

So today's total is just about half (one-third plus one-sixth) = 50%, not 30%.

In the good old days (smaller mortgages paid off more quickly), the number of true owner-occupiers was clearly higher than this, maybe 60% or so.