Scunthorpe area concern that home ownership is slipping further out of people's reach
THE proportion of homes owned with a mortgage has dropped by 13 per cent in North Lincolnshire over the past 10 years.
Census figures released by the Office for National Statistics show 25,000 of the region's 70,000 homes are owned with a mortgage.
This decrease is in sharp contrast to a change in the proportion of privately rented households in North Lincolnshire, which rose by 83 per cent between 2001 and 2011.
And residents in North Lincolnshire believe that home-ownership is becoming increasingly difficult.
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Violinist and Belton resident Alexandra Parker, 24, has had to delay buying a house while she raises enough money for a mortgage.
She said: "It is so expensive to raise enough money to afford the deposit for a mortgage.
"I think the economy has a lot to do with it. People are renting because they are not contracted for 25 years to stay in a house. That can make things worse though, because it is not easy to save for a mortgage while renting. The payments can be so high."
Lee Copperwheat, 24, bought a house with a mortgage, but has since had to move out because he cannot afford the repayments.
Lee, from Scotter, said: "I have since rented the house out and am paying to lodge with a friend. The rent payments from the house cover the mortgage repayments. It is cheaper for me to live this way."
Nationally, the proportion of homes owned with a mortgage has dropped by 15 per cent.
Graham Wilson, managing director of DDM Residential in Scunthorpe, said: "The trouble is that banks are desperate to lend money but the lending criteria is so strict.
"There has been an appetite to buy, but people need a clean credit history and the strict criteria has been a stumbling block for many.
"There has been a natural move towards renting, but hopefully the lending criteria will relax a bit this year."
Campbell Robb is chief executive of Shelter, the charity that campaigns to end homelessness and bad housing.
He said: "Home-ownership is slipping further and further out of reach in Yorkshire and the Humber, no matter how hard people work or save."