The predicament of the Neath
20 to 30 year olds who rent and their inability to get onto the housing ladder
is often discussed in the press.
There are 4.43m properties
in the UK that are still in the private rented sector (compared to 2.13m in
This group of people in their
20s and 30’s, who rent from a private landlord, are often called ‘Generation
Yet would it surprise you
that since 2017, the number of UK households in the private rented sector has
reduced by 260,000 whilst the number of homeowners has increased by 1.1m?
In this article I want to talk about another
set of people, not ‘Generation Rent’, but ‘Generation Stuck’.
Stuck are our middle-aged and mature homeowners of Neath. They are the
generation that could be described as late ‘Baby Boomers’ (born in late 1950s
and early 1960s) and the early ‘Gen X’ (born in the mid 1960s to early 1970s).
These 50 to
64 year old people feel stuck in their Neath homes, and therefore I have nicknamed
them ‘Generation Stuck’. Their inability to move could be holding back those
younger Neath ‘Generation Renters’.
So, let me
look at the numbers involved.
In Neath, there are 3,480
households, whose owners are aged between 50 and 64 years old and about to pay
their mortgage off on property that is worth £575.51m.
There are an
additional 4,642 mortgage free Neath households, owned by 50 to 64 year olds,
worth £767.68m, meaning …
Neath ‘Baby Boomers’ and Neath ‘Gen X’ are sitting on £1,343.2m worth of Neath property.
the Census, 47.8% of homes occupied by 50 to 64 year olds have two or more
backed up by the annual English Housing Survey that states nationally, 49%
of properties occupied by these ‘Generation Stuck’ are ‘under-occupied’.
Under-occupied is categorised as having at least two spare bedrooms.
Looking at the statistics closer to home
47.1% of Neath Port Talbot 50 to 64 year olds have two
or more spare bedrooms, making it the 205th highest local authority
in the country
(out of 348 local authorities).
The rising number of older Neath homeowners who want to
downsize their Neath home are often held back by the lack of suitable housing
options for older people and the difficulties of moving.
Lots of over 50 year old Neath people cannot move home in
the way that they would like, due to a lack of suitable housing options and so can find themselves ‘stuck’ in homes
which are no longer suitable for them as they age.
Only 1 in 29 people over the age of 50 move home each
year, compared to 1 in 15 for
the rest of the population.
Helping mature Neath homeowners
(Generation Stuck) to downsize their homes at the right time will also allow
younger Neath people (Generation Rent) to find the Neath family homes they need
– meaning every generation wins, both young and old.
However, to ensure
downsizing works, we need more choices for these “last-time-buyers”.
That means building more bungalows or more
ground floor apartments suitable for the middle to older generation.
One way this could be done is
by changing the planning rules to force builders to build these types of
properties, whilst the other could be the changing of the Land Transaction Tax
tax breaks for downsizers.
In this way,
older Neath people will be more able to move into homes which suit their
specific needs, improve their quality of life whilst meeting their goals in
life, all without them becoming detached from their friends and family locally
in the Neath area.
These are my
thoughts, please let me know yours.