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This is how Britain ranks against the rest of Europe in terms of home ownership

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We all know how tough it is to get a foot on the property ladder in the UK, and now new data highlights exactly how we stack up behind our European neighbours.

The figures published by Eurostat, the EU statistics agency, reveal we have the fourth lowest number of home owners of all 28 EU nations.

Only Germany, Austria and Denmark fall below us. Known for its renting culture, Germany has 51.9% ownership rates compared to 62.7% in the UK.

Romania tops the list at a rate of 96.4%, while Croatia, Lithuania and Slovakia are all close to the 90% mark - figures that are unimaginable with the UK's soaring house prices.


Read more: These are Europe’s five best countries ranked by quality of living


The UK figure is almost 1% down on last year, when 64.4% of the nation lived in a home owned by themselves or family. It's the first decline on ownership in a decade, with the youngest generation worst effected.

The number of 25 to 34-year-olds who own their home plummeted from two million in 2001 to just 1.3 million in a decade, earning Millennials their 'Generation Rent' nickname.

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John Healey, the shadow housing secretary, says: "We pride ourselves as a home-owning country but these figures show the UK’s disastrous slide down the international league table since the Tories came to power."

“Home ownership for young people is in freefall - in many parts of the country there's now a crisis.”

However, the buyers' market could be set to see a change of fortune. New research by Zoopla suggests that buying is now cheaper than renting in 60% of the country's 50 biggest towns and cities, with Glasgow and Birmingham leading the charge. 


Read more: How the housing market is delaying our journey to adulthood


Lawrence Hall, of Zoopla, says: “Whereas back in April it was cheaper to service a monthly mortgage than pay a rental fee in just under half of Britain’s biggest cities, buyers are now offered better value in nearly two thirds of these locations."

However, renting prices still trump mortgage repayments in London and the South, with rent on average a staggering 44% cheaper.

But if you can scrape together that elusive deposit for a property further North then this change in the property tide could be great news.

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