More people are worried about housing than at any point since October 1974, according to a survey that tracks changes in UK attitudes.
The Ipsos Mori Issues Index for August shows the number of people citing it as one of the most important matters facing Britain has risen to 22 per cent and even higher than the levels before the 2007 recession.
Ben Page, chief executive at Ipsos Mori, said: “While immigration and the EU remain at the top of public concerns, anxiety about housing has now risen to the highest level in over 40 years, especially among the young and Londoners.”
The score is higher among people aged 18-34, with 26 per cent saying it is one of the most important issues facing Britain today, compared with 17 per cent of those aged 55-plus. It is also higher among those who live in Greater London, where it is mentioned by 44 per cent. Renters are more likely to bring it up (27 per cent) than those either paying a mortgage (22 per cent) or who own their home outright (14 per cent).
Housing is now the fifth most important issue, behind immigration, the EU, the NHS and the economy.
The findings, which since 1974 have provided an insight into the key issues concerning the country, are based on information gathered every month through face- to-face interviews with a weighted sample of 983 adults.
Interviewees are asked: “What would you say is the most important issue facing Britain today?” and “What do you see as other important issues facing Britain today?” The interviews, at which respondents were asked an open question with no suggested answers, took place between August 1 and August 11, six weeks after Britain voted to leave the EU.
Beyond the Brexit vote, and the fears it may cause a slowdown in the housing market, August also saw the release of a Resolution Foundation report that revealed home ownership in Britain had dropped to a 30-year low, with many younger households priced out of the market, even outside the south-east.
This month also found a rise in people saying they were concerned about the pound and the exchange rate (up to 4 per cent from 1 per cent), following a post-Brexit fall in the exchange rate.
Europe is still seen as the single most important issue, after worries jumped to their highest level in two decades following the referendum result, overtaking fears about immigration, the economy and healthcare.