Europe is a continent of homeowners. Across the EU, roughly 70% of the population live in owner-occupied households. Obviously, there is a great deal of variety between Member States, with a higher proportion of renters in countries such as Germany, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands. However, the “typical” European lives in a home owned by either them or their family.
Yet the picture may be changing. Young Europeans, in particular, are struggling to get onto the housing ladder, and some analysts talk of a “generational gap” starting to emerge. In many big European cities, young people are being priced out of the market, while the rising cost of rents mean they are unable to save for a deposit.
What do our readers think? According to James, the main barrier to young people getting on the housing ladder is that in areas where there are good jobs housing is expensive and in areas where housing is affordable there are no jobs. This means that young people are forced to choose between a meaningful career or buying a house. Is he right? Why are young people struggling to get on the housing ladder?
To get a response, we spoke to Jack Airey, Head of Housing at the British think-tank Policy Exchange. What would he say?
To get another perspective, we also spoke to Anna Ludwinek from Eurofound (the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions). How would she respond?
Finally, we had a comment from Alexandra blaming the housing crisis on immigration. Is that too simplistic?
Will young people ever get on the property ladder? Why are young people struggling to afford houses? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!