Two thirds of Colchester families own their own home, figures reveal.

Office for National Statistics data estimates that 68.3 per cent of households in Colchester were owners-occupiers in 2019 – the latest available figures. This was broadly in line with 2012.

And more homeowners are living mortgage-free – 36 per cent in 2019, compared to 33.4 per cent seven years before.

Across England, an average of 65.7 per cent of families owned their own homes in 2019, up fractionally from 65.4 per cent seven years before.

PricedOut, a campaign group for affordable house prices, said that while older generations are paying off their mortgages and enjoying low housing costs, young people are trapped in expensive renting by the high costs of raising a deposit.

Director Anya Martin said: “Housing costs are the major driver of inequality between the generations, and it is damaging young peoples’ futures.

“The main barrier to homeownership is that we have been failing to build enough homes in this country for decades, resulting in rising prices.

“We have one of the most restrictive planning systems in the world. If we want homes to get cheaper, we must build more of them.”

The Ministry of Housing said more than 243,000 homes were delivered last year – the highest number in more than 30 years.

And measures in the Queen’s Speech included changes to the planning system, which the Government believes will increase the supply of homes.

The proportion of households living in privately rented accommodation in Colchester has risen from 18.7 per cent in 2012 to 19.2 per cet.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “We are delivering the homes our communities need and helping many more people get the keys to their own home through our Government-backed schemes including Shared Ownership, Help to Buy and our new 95 per cent mortgage guarantee scheme.”

“We are investing over £12 billion in affordable housing over the next five years to help councils, housing associations and others deliver new homes.”