Across the UK, capital is concentrated in the hands of older home owners with the baby boomers riding the wave.
They have benefited not only from high house price inflation, but also from rising incomes. With the onset of pension reforms in April, those boomers are about to be able to access their pension pots, which means even more investment in property and that this concentration is likely to increase.
And what about the younger, equity-poor millennials saddled with debt? Not only have they missed the lucrative house price boom but they are paying the price, with scant chance of getting onto the property ladder and rising rents. There have been no good mortgage deals for them, only high loan-to-value ratios and debt repayments that seem to go on into the distance.
With insecure work and incomes stalled, the only option they have had is renting. Indeed, the rise in market renting has been fierce, with around 20% of households now living in this tenure. But as we continually fail to build enough new homes, rents too have risen, in some areas to crippling levels.
The young are finally finding their voices and speaking out across social media platforms and through online change petitions. Affordable housing is now something that is demanded not just for those who the local authority has a statutory duty to house, but for those who feel they will never have any financial stability.
Home ownership may have dropped off the top-10 list for much of the population, but for the young it is in the top five. How else can they expect to accumulate equity? How else can they expect to put down roots and settle into a community, if not through home ownership?
As it stands, market solutions have failed large parts of the population and created a generational divide, so what can be done to help those trying to get a look in? Without substantial changes to property taxes, funding more affordable homes is always on the end of the wish list, unable to compete with the health service or education.
However, housing associations have a neat solution in shared ownership. Shared ownership gives someone a stake in a home - aka equity and stability - and is cheaper than renting privately, particularly in London where on average shared ownership costs £857 a month, while a typical tenant pays £1,348. The level of deposit required is much more manageable than buying outright, as you only need a deposit on the share you are acquiring. What’s more, it is recognised as an affordable housing tenure, but subsidy levels are low and any subsidy is recycled when a shared owner buys further shares.
A massive expansion of this tenure would give younger generations a viable entry point and, not only that, it would also give those in shared ownership choice to move within the sector and so improve the whole model by default. If this tenure grew like the rented sector, those in it would have the choice to move and stay as shared owners - thereby both retaining their equity and suiting their needs - as well as the choice to exit either by cashing in or staircasing up to full ownership.
Shared ownership is an underutilised gem, which, en mass, has the potential to deliver stability and flexibility and provide a viable housing solution for both the millennials and future generations in a way that perhaps no other tenure can expect to do.
Geeta Nanda is group chief executive at Thames Valley Housing Association