Northern Ireland

'Generation rent': Northern Ireland trend is moving away from home ownership

Northern Ireland is embracing
Image caption More people are turning away from buying a home and choosing to rent instead

Northern Ireland is heading for some of the lowest home ownership rates in the UK outside London, according to new research.

It shows the region is embracing what has become known as generation rent.

At the turn of the millennium, an estimated 72% of people in Northern Ireland were classed as home owners, either outright or with a mortgage.

Analysis by professional services firm PwC shows that by 2014 it had fallen to 65%.

By 2025, the figures are expected to drop further to 59%.

The flipside will see the private rental sector experience high growth.

There is a general trend away from home ownership across the UK, but in Northern Ireland it is becoming more pronounced.

PwC believes the reasons include relatively low levels of house building and "a lack of confidence in the market".

PwC chief economist Esmond Birnie said: "Add a young and mobile workforce who often prefer high-quality rental apartments to purchasing terraced properties and we are seeing a generation that perceives private renting as a real option to property ownership."

Home ownership in London is currently around 46% and in ten years' time, PwC predicts it will have dropped to 40%.

More on this story