Owning often makes less financial sense than renting and the rate of homeownership is starting to drop substantially. Today there is no stigma at all to renting .. everyone is doing it. In fact, of the 26,866 residents of Melton Mowbray, 6,862 of you rent your house from either the local authority/social provider (ie council house or housing association) or private landlords – meaning 25.54% of Melton Mowbray people are tenants.
So as more and more people are renting nowadays, are we turning to a more European way of living? Well, I believe, as a country, we are. In fact, homeownership could be affecting your health! The UK, according to Bloomberg, is only the 21st most healthy country in the world. Germany is at No.10 and Switzerland at No.4 and homeownership is at 52.5% and 44% respectively in those countries (in the UK it is 64.8%).
In the Melton Borough Council area, 75.77% of homeowners who own their house outright said they were in ‘very good’ or ‘good’ health whilst, at the other end of the scale, 4.96% said their health was ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’. Looking at renting, the census splits tenants into two types – 71.28% of Melton Mowbray local authority/social tenants said they were in ‘very good’ or ‘good’ health and 8.61% were in ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’ health …
… whilst ‘private rented tenants’ in Melton Mowbray, were the healthiest, as 86.22% of them described themselves in ‘very good’ or ‘good’ health and only 3.18% were in ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’ health
I am not suggesting that low homeownership rates in Switzerland and Germany are directly linked to health, nor, do I expect Brits to all go to Berlin, Interlaken or Düsseldorf and realise how happy people are when they don't need to worry about all the stresses which accompany homeownership. The numbers for Melton Mowbray do go some way to back up the argument (and they are the same across the whole of the UK). Nonetheless I do think that substantially all of the upside to homeownership in recent years has been a function of monumental rising house prices. Now that's come to an end, it's hard to see why anybody would want to buy?