An Englishman’s home is his castle but when it comes to the UK the ‘Brit’s are still a nation of homeowners ‘(although wasn’t it Napoleon who thought we were all shop keepers!). It is interesting to note that up until the mid to late 1960’s, more people rented their home (albeit mostly from the local council) than owned their own. In fact, I was surprised to read that in 1921, over 75% of homes in England and Wales were privately rented with the remaining 25% being owner occupied.
It was only after the Second World War, when the Beatles were rocking, that people started to buy instead of rent .. but instead of owning our property outright, we borrowed money from banks and building society’s to buy them and the roots of the growth of the private rental sector can be drawn back to the late 1970’s early 1980’s, when the council houses began to be sold off under the right to buy scheme.
In 2001, 68.5% of households were owner occupied in Grantham, but ten years later, that percentage dropped massively to 62%. But here is the interesting part, when you look at the actual numbers of households, 10,918 households in Grantham were owner occupied in 2001. Ten years later, in 2011, that number (who owned their own home) had actually slightly increased to 11,081 households.
So why big drop in percentages but not in actual properties? An additional 1,666 properties were built in Grantham between 2001 and 2011, but a lot of them were bought as buy to let investments, thus more than doubling the number of private rental properties in Grantham. In fact, the number of properties in Grantham, which were privately rented, jumped from 1,496 in 2001 to 3,132 in 2011!
With the South Kesteven District Council housing waiting lists being in the 5 to 10 year range for a decent property in a decent location. Therefore, with no more council houses being built, and an increasing number of people looking for a roof over their head, private renting is the only option