HouseDrive - Enjoy The Right House and Home

Your Home

The UK house and home market is different from that in the rest of Europe, and is changing.  Constant increases in house prices and values have encouraged people to ‘get on the ladder’ and constantly buy more expensive properties, secure in the knowledge that even if they struggle to afford payments the value of the property will quickly increase and generate equity value. 

This has also led to people buying properties and renting them out, again secure in the knowledge that increases in capital value and ongoing rental income make this a good investment, leveraged with a mortgage.

This constant increase in prices has meant that many people now can’t afford to buy their first house, and have to rent, or stay living with parents for longer. 

Social housing is low cost rented housing aimed at people who can’t afford the private sector – whether buying or renting.  See our section below on this.

House Facts

£ 10

is the average house price in the UK in August 2018 (Guardian)

is the age

the average Brit will pay off their mortgage (


mortgages in the UK (Feb 18,


new homes to be built in the UK between 2015-2020 (NAO Report)

of all homes in England in 2017 were homes for rent from councils and housing associations (
is the amount it is thought the housing market could fall (Société Générale global strategist Albert Edwards told The Telegraph.)
proportion of homes in England that are owner-occupied (NAO study)
of homes in England that were 'non-decent' (down from 35% in 2006) NB 'decent homes' is an official definition - (NAO study)

Housing Market

In the early 20th century less than 10% of UK homes were owner-occupied – this rose to 62% by the early 21st century, reaching over 27 million households in 2017.

Privately owned property is freehold or leasehold (where the owner buys the right to use the land and property for a time).

Most is bought with a mortgage.  Since the 1980s securitisation of mortgages led to repackaging of mortgage debt to provide an income flow, which was involved in the 2008-9 financial crisis.

Property is also rented, either privately, where landlords typically use short term (often 6 months) tenancy agreements, or local authority rented, where tenants pay a weekly or monthly rent, often subsidised and below market rate. Housing Associations offer affordable properties partly owned partly rented.

The housing market is an indicator of household wealth – when prices rise or fall it creates a positive or negative wealth effect, even as far as moving into negative equity, where the mortgage has a higher value than the house, as in 1990 and 2008.  Rising equity can give rise to increasing housing equity withdrawal.

Other factors affecting home ownership include population, income, interest rates and social trends.

RICS believe that overall sales volumes will decrease by 5% in 2019.  You can download their Housing Forecast under More Info below.

Different housing trends

dwelling types chart

The reason for a slowdown in the market has been driven by supply and political and financial uncertainty rather than mortgage rates, which have kept low and even reduced.

mortgage rates chart

Charts courtesy of Economicsonline

Social Housing

The amount of social housing for rent has been slowly rising for the last ten years – over 4 million homes were rented from councils or housing associations in 2017.  Social rents are about 50% of market rents. 

Housing associations are independent, not-for-profit organisations that provide social housing for people in need..  They are sometimes called ‘registered social landlords’. They sometimes offer shared ownership schemes and have to be registered with Homes England.  They were re-classified as private rather than public in 2016, removing £70 billion form public debt and allowed them to increase borrowing.

This is mainly due to an increase in homes rented from housing associations.  Around 5,000 new homes were built for social rent in 2017, and another 1,00 were bought or converted.

There is also ‘affordable housing’ where the rents can only be around 80% of market rents.

To see an explanation of what these are, click the button below for an explanation from the Designing Buildings wiki.

There were 24,000 homes built for affordable rent in 2017 and 2,000 bought or converted.

‘Intermediate rent’ is defined as ‘above social rent, but below market levels’ (House of Commons library), and these are counted as affordable homes.

Social housing can be sold, with the best known scheme being ‘Right to Buy’ for council housing, with an equivalent scheme for housing associations.  Over 16,00 homes were sold under right to buy in 2017/18, which is less than the year before.  Around 5,00 were sold under different schemes. 

The government committed to replacing all homes sold under right to buy after 2012, but this target isn’t being met.


The average weekly rent for council houses in 2016/17 was £87 while for housing associations it was £97 in March 2017.  The English Housing Survey calculated average (actually median) social housing rent in 2016/17 as £96 per week as opposed to private rent of £156 per week.

social housing chart
social housing changes chart
council house rent chart

For visitors

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You can register to join us as a member, when you’ll be able to download our stuff and comment, or as a YouDriver when you’ll also be able to check your health and set up your own action plans to make some improvements.  If you’ve already registered, sign in below. Or let us know what you think.

Rent v Buy

This video gives some simple pros and cons of renting and buying – sadly it’s a US video so some points are less relevant, but most of it is common sense.  See the article from the Independent here which gives some comparative costs.

We're getting our first home together - I think we'll
definitely rent, save up to buy
our new home

The box below shows some information on how you can look to rent a home.  Hover over it and it will switch to show you information on how you can start to save to buy a home, and what’s involved.  Click the button on the back to see more information and YouDrive’s view!


Renting is less of a commitment. If interest rates change it affects you less. If anything goes wrong, you're not liable for repairs so it matters less to you.

Buying a home

Once you've paid off your mortgage, you'll own the property and any increase in price will benefit you when you come to sell it.
Click Here for more information and YouDrive comment
"Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him work diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built."
HouseDrive 1
Abraham Lincoln
US President

Next Steps

It doesn’t matter what stage  you’re at – it’s important to be the best you can be.  At the end of the day it’s about taking personal responsibility – You Drive!

It’s really your choice. You can find out more information about the subject, or see other institutions that can help by going to Support. There you will find organisations, training, coaching, self-help courses and other items to support your personal change. We have also started developing a panel of experts to provide info, advice, help and support. 

More Information

Scroll down to see more information on this Drive.  If you register with us by providing an email address you can also download reports, white papers, quizzes and other collaterals.  Don’t worry, we will never ask you for any financial information, and we’ll only send you the information you want.

You can register for our site either above or in the footer below, and there’s more information available and you can comment and participate in discussions too.  We want to encourage our members to provide their own questions and experiences in order to help other members.  We only moderate for spam and inflammatory language – see our moderation policy here.

Soon you will be able to register as a YouDriver – you’ll get your own health dashboard, be able to assess your own health, look at how to improve it and build your own action plans.

We also show you links to other sites offering support in this area and also some products and services which might help you on our Support pages, which you can go to by clicking the Support button below.

Get Support

There are times when you need some help to meet your aims. At YouDriveHealth we try to help you to take control of your own health. Sometimes however you need a helping hand.

As the next step we are compiling a list of experts who can help you, whether by providing advice, help or specialised services.  In the future you will be able to access these experts from anywhere on our site you see our ‘Experts’ symbol.

We will be adding to our list of experts continually; we try to recommend things and partners that we have used ourselves, but obviously we can’t take any responsibility for any specific outcomes.  

If you click the button you’ll see what our Experts list will look like, with a couple of imaginary ‘experts’ added!

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See what other things can help

More information

General advice on buying a home from Money Advice Service

Overall advice on housing issues from Citizens Advice

Information on council housing and housing associations from the government

See how to apply for council housing – from Shelter

If you’re a single parent, the Gingerbread have information on your housing options

Different types of mortgage available from the Money Advice Service

Calculate your monthly mortgage payment using our Money Advice Service calculator

See if you can afford the repayments using our calculator provided by the Money Advice Service

How much is Stamp Duty?  This calculator from MAS lets you work it out

Equity release comparison from Age Partnership – click here to go to their site

Buy to Let guidance from Which

You can download your own Excel calculator which allows you to model whether it’s better to rent or buy there’s one from Excelexperts.  There are two – one with blank values which you should use, and one with example values entered. The third button will open a YouTube video explaining how to use the calculator

Download the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)  Housing Survey for 2019

If you are getting older and you’re thinking about your options of whether to move or stay where you are, or where to live, AgeUK have a useful guide you can download.

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