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Miss Helen Jones

Miss Helen Jones

Merit Award Winner 2015
Is The Declining Level of Homeownership Due to an Attitudinal Shift or Are Housing Aspirations Simply Incompatible With The Current UK Housing Market?”

Research Abstract

This dissertation concerns homeownership levels in the UK.  More specifically, it asks whether declining levels of homeownership are due to an attitudinal shift or to a housing market which fundamentally cannot support the level of homeownership aspiration.


Secondary analysis has been used to address this research problem.  This primarily comprises of examining responses to the British Social Attitudes surveys conducted in recent years in order to ascertain how attitudes towards homeownership have changed and how perceptions of the housing market have changed.


The finding of this research is that it is the prohibitive nature of the housing market which has played the largest role in the decline of homeownership.  However, there is also evidence to support the claim that the younger generation has different housing needs to previous generations, at least in the short-term, and this may be another contributing factor. Providing greater access to homeownership has been a focus of housing policy for successive generations of politicians. This research identifies a number of barriers to homeownership and consequently its findings could be used to inform the direction of future homeownership policies. 

Winner's Bios

Miss Helen Jones

University of Reading, UK

Helen studied BSc Mathematics with Modern Languages at UCL before gaining work experience in the construction industry.  In 2015, she graduated from the University of Reading with a distinction in MSc Construction Cost Management.  Helen has a keen interest in the social impact of legislative decisions and her favourite aspect of postgraduate study was the chance to undertake independent research in this area.  In the future, Helen hopes to pursue her interest in housing issues through a research role in the public sector, or for a charity.


Judge's comments

“This dissertation addresses a topical research question relating to the level of home ownership in the UK. It comprises an extensive review of relevant literature and related policies. The dissertation also makes exemplary use of appropriate secondary data. The quality of analysis and discussion is very high. The dissertation provides a strong showcase for the student’s research skills.”