Home ownership in England has dropped to its lowest level in 25 years, government figures published in the English Housing Survey 2011 to 2012 have revealed.

According to the statistics, homeowners account for 65.3 per cent of Britain's households - down from 70.9 per cent in 2003 when ownership was at its peak.

And with the current proportion of people who own their home being at its lowest point since 1987, it appears that the cost of buying a property has continued to squeeze a growing number of Brits out of the market.

Indeed, the rate at which house prices rocketed in the years leading up to 2007 and the restricted availability of finance that has followed the economic downturn has further limited the prospects of first-time buyers.

The report also revealed that the number of tenants living in the private rental sector has eclipsed those in social housing for the first time since the 1960s.

"Campbell Robb, chief executive of the housing charity Shelter, said: "This historic shift in our housing market is bad news for anyone struggling to find a decent and affordable home.

"As saving for a home of their own becomes increasingly out of reach, many have no choice but to live in rented homes for years on end."

With the unaffordable cost of property being considered as one of the biggest barriers to home ownership, the increasing number of Brits living in the private rented sector has been attributed to the extent of price inflation compared to wage growth in recent years.

While this has had a negative impact on the proportion of people who own their home, it has been positive for investors who have benefited from growing demand among prospective tenants.

And in order to take full advantage of the surging popularity of the buy-to-let sector, it's vital that landlords purchase the appropriate insurance policies to safeguard their assets.