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Home ownership levels crash for young people

The housing market in Bristol has been on fire. The city is thriving and in the crush for living space prices have been sent spinning North.

The price of the average property in the city is now ten times the average salary - no bank would be willing lend on that kind of ratio.

There are still plenty of first-time buyers, they are just dependent on the kindness of parents to stump up deposits or they have to make compromises their parents didn't.

"It's still a buyers' market" Nick Stopard, an estate agent with Boardwalk Property Co, told me.

Nick is 26 and managed to get a foot on the property ladder by buying a flat with his friend. "We're seeing people club together to buy more and more" he says.

The level of home ownership in Britain has been falling for much of the last decade but the extent to which young people find themselves locked-out has been revealed by new analysis from the Resolution Foundation.

20%
of the under-35s have owned a property, down from 55% in 1994

In outer London only 20% of the under-35s have owned a property, down from 55% in 1994.

This is not just a London problem. In Merseyside, Greater Manchester, East Anglia, West Yorkshire and the South West the vast majority of young people cannot afford to buy a home.

The shortage of new housing is only part of the problem. Credit: PA

The Conservatives, Labour and the Lib Dems are all promising to double the number of new homes being built over the next five years but we've heard that song many times before. There's little in the manifestos that demonstrates how targets will be delivered.

The shortage of new housing is only part of the problem.

The students we met at Bristol University speak of home ownership as a dream rather than realistic ambition. They're encouraged that the housing crisis is a prominent election issue but doubt politicians' ability to resolve it.

"My dad was twenty-two when he bought his first home" Ben Smith, a physics student, told ITV News. "I'll probably be over forty before I've saved enough to buy".

Our national obsession with owning bricks and mortar has created "haves", the young are the "have nots".

At the margins, policies like "Help to Buy" have been helpful but they haven't made home-ownership more affordable.

Colder winds are blowing through the housing market but this looks like a slowdown not a crash.

Barring an abrupt economic shock, there's no obvious prospect of prices falling significantly in the short-term.