Buying own home has ‘got harder’ under Conservatives, Sunak says

Politics

The Labour Party has seized on Rishi Sunak’s admission that it has become “harder” to own a home under his government, branding it “damning indictment” of his party’s time in power.

In an interview with the BBC, the prime minister said he wanted to make it “easier” for young people to get on the housing ladder and argued the “biggest challenge” was the difficulty in saving up for a deposit.

According to the Resolution Foundation, the most common living arrangement for those aged between 18 and 34 in 1997 was in a couple with children – but that has now changed to living with parents.

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Analysis by property firm Savills found the average house price across Britain of £340,837 could buy a large five-bedroom property in some parts of Scotland, Wales and northern England typically – but just a studio flat in central London.

Asked whether owning your own home had got “harder under a Conservative government”, Mr Sunak replied: “It has got harder and I want to make sure that it’s easier and what we will do is not just build homes in the right places and do that in a way that is sensitive to local communities, but make sure that we support young people into great jobs so they can save for that deposit.”

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Put to him that young people were “not worried” about the deposit or stamp duty because they could not afford to leave their parents’ home, he replied: “No, actually when I speak to people it is the deposit that is the biggest challenge because many people earn enough to cover a mortgage payment, but the struggle is saving up for a deposit.

“That has always over the last few years been the number one challenge.”

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Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, said: “Rishi Sunak’s confession that having a home of your own has got harder under the Tories is a damning indictment of 14 years of housing failure.

“Home ownership is a pipe dream for young people in Britain today.

“Never once in 14 years have the Tories met their 300,000 a year housing target, and their recent decision to appease the Tory MPs on their backbenches and abolish mandatory housing targets has seen housebuilding take a nosedive.”

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Green Party co-leader Carla Denyer said the BBC interview showed Mr Sunak was “heading for the exit because he is totally out of touch”.

“No prime minister so out of touch with the hurt his government has caused so many people can expect to be re-elected,” she said.

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