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Property equity gap 'could harm social mobility'

London could soon become "the preserve of the super-rich" due to surging house prices, as homeownership is rendered impossible for anyone whose parents do not have a stake in property wealth there.The National Housing Federation has published a report, entitled Broken Market, Broken Dreams, which reveals the amount of equity lost per property across the country outside of London during the economic crash.According to the study, a widening gap has emerged between the property wealth held by homeowners in London and the rest of England as a consequence of the recession that occurred between 2006 and 2012.During this period,  the average amount of equity in homes across the north and midlands fell sharply. London, however, was immune to this trend, continuing to pull away from the rest of the country and witnessing an increase in equity after the crash.The data shows that, between 2006 and 2012, property wealth per household in the capital increased by £19,000, while in all other regions it either remained static or declined.In just six years, the equity gap between the north-east and London rose by almost a third, from £100,000 to £131,000.Increasingly, family money is becoming the only means of getting on the property ladder, and the NHF is warning of the impact of the equity imbalance on geographic and social mobility across England. It claims London could soon become "the preserve of the super rich" and those whose families already have a stake in its property wealth. Unless more is done to provide new homes in the capital, talented people may be deterred from taking up employment there.David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: "We are calling on the next government to commit to ending the housing crisis in a generation by publishing a long-term plan of how they will tackle the underlying causes, including how to tackle London's housing market." 

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