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Business briefing: Three times more midlife renters than 20 years ago

MILLIONS more people in their mid-30s to mid-40s are renting their home compared with previous generations, figures reveal.

About three in ten (27.6 per cent) ‘mid-lifers’ in England were renting from a private landlord in 2017, a huge rise from less than one in ten (8.5 per cent) in 1997.

As a result, those aged 35 to 44 are three times more likely to be renting their home than 20 years ago, said the Office for National Statistics.

If this trend persists, in future older people will be more likely to be living in the private rental sector than today.

Meanwhile, the current generation of over-65s are much more likely to own their home outright, with no mortgage left to pay, than their age group in the early 1990s.

Nathan Long, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: ‘Problems are being stored up for those in their 40s and early 50s. Not only were they born too late to benefit from final salary pensions, they were born too early to benefit from a lifetime of automatic pension saving and many won’t be able to call on their house if times get tough.’

Three-quarters (74 per cent) of people aged 65 and over owned their homes outright in England in 2017. This was up from 55.7 per cent of owners in 1993 in this age group who were mortgage-free.

The ONS said this group includes the first people to benefit from the Right to Buy initiative, which saw social housing stock sold at reduced prices from the 1980s, and boosted home ownership.

In 1979, one in three homes across Britain was social housing. This compares with a quarter (24.9 per cent) in 1990 and 17.6 per cent in 2017, the lowest since records began.

Falls in home ownership at younger ages may have an impact in the future on the type of accommodation older people live in, said the ONS.

Lovely jam, thank you gran says teenage entrepreneur

Stirring stuff: Owen makes jam using his gran Joyce’s recipes

A TEENAGER who started using his gran’s jam recipes to make pocket money is tasting sweet success after launching his own business.

Owen Foster, 18, started from his mum’s kitchen four years ago after being shown the family tradition by his gran Joyce Morrison.

‘We made 50 jars and sold all within a week at £3 a jar,’ says Owen, from Forfar, Angus. ‘I thought: “I could buy a lot of sweets with that”, and it just grew.’

Jam-tastic: Owen and Joyce PICTURES: SWNS

After Owen’s Angus Jams landed its first contract with nearby Glamis Castle, he now sells around 4,000 jars a year to shops and restaurants and is relocating from a unit to bigger premises where he plans to open a farm shop and there is space for a cafe. Owen, whose jams such as strawberry and pink champagne, rhubarb and cinnamon have won Great Taste awards, has even sold to the US via Facebook orders.

Gran Joyce, 69, said: ‘It’s exciting and we’re extremely proud of him. He has that entrepreneurial spirit.’

Samsung’s phone peek starts a new fold war


SAMSUNG has unveiled its new flip phone in a surprise TV advert during the Oscars.

The device, thought to be called the Galaxy Z Flip, opens and closes like a 1990s flip phone but has technology that allows the screen to go all the way across the fold.

The ad showed the phone, which comes in black and purple, relaying video calls while folded at various angles. No other details were disclosed.

The tech giant was expected to unveil it in the US later today.


■ AUDIOBOOM has put itself up for sale with a valuation of £31million. The business, backed by property baron Nick Candy, produces podcasts for 90million listeners a month for stars such as Sue Perkins.

■ ONE in three workers has had no contact with their company’s chief executive while ten per cent of British staff think their bosses are untrustworthy, an international study by software firm Unit4 found.

■ SHOPPING centre owner Intu is seeking a cash injection from a Hong Kong-based investor to slash its £5billion debt. It said it has held ‘constructive talks’ with Link Real Estate Investment Trust over a deal.

■ RETAIL sales rose 0.4 per cent last month compared with 2.2 per cent last January, says a report by the British Retail Consortium-KPMG. But 42 per cent of people are upbeat about the economy, found a Barclaycard study.

■ VOLVO is in talks about a merger with owner Geely. The Swedish and Chinese car makers say a tie-up would create ‘a strong global group’ that ‘would accelerate financial and technological synergies between the companies’.