Home ownership in the UK is at its lowest level since the mid-1980s
Home ownership sinks to 25-year low
Margaret Thatcher was instrumental in promoting the drive to "get on the property ladder" in the 1980's, which led to disastrous consequences for many families when the phenomenon of negative equity first appeared. In Europe and indeed the rest of the world, there is no great desire to "own your own home", (in fact it is actually the banks or building societies who own the brick and mortar, but that is another debate) and consequently the majority of accommodation is rented from the private sector or provided as "social housing".
It was the "get on the ladder and buy your council house" which started the uniquely British obsession with home ownership and is the main root cause of the housing problem in the United Kingdom today.