In the aftermath of the global economic crisis, housing policy has leapt up the British political agenda and become the focus of renewed public debate. Particular attention has been directed towards how the growing difficulty of accessing homeownership is leading young adults to remain longer in rental accommodation. This postponement of home purchase is often thought to be challenging the intergenerational contract, limiting social mobility and inhibiting political aspirations to create a ‘homeownership society’.
While much research has focused upon how the economic crisis has helped to create ‘Generation Rent’, many of the forces restructuring young adults’ housing careers significantly predate 2007. As a result, disentangling the effects of the crisis requires understanding how young adults’ housing aspirations and pathways to homeownership have changed over the longer term. This paper will present and discuss the initial findings of a new project exploring these issues using English social survey data.