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Owner occupiers in England stable since 2019 at over 15m

  • 05/01/2023
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Owner occupiers in England stable since 2019 at over 15m
The number of owner occupiers in England stands at 15.6 million but as proportion of tenure has staid roughly stable since 2019.

According to Leeds Building Society, who analysed figures from the Government’s 2021 census, owner occupation in England peaked at 70.9 per cent in 2003.

It then fell until 2017, but has started to slowly rebound to around 64 per cent currently.

Figures also show that in 2020/2021, 35 per cent of households own their property outright and 30 per cent have bought a house with a mortgage.

Leeds Building Society said that the increase in people owning outright could be attributed to an ageing population, with more baby boomers reaching retirement age and paying off their mortgage.

The mutual added that it showed that low mortgage rates over the last decade had allowed people to reduce their mortgage debt.

The private rented sector accounts for 4.6 million homes, around 19 per cent of homes, which is in line with last year but is lower than 20 per cent seen in 2016/2017.

The social rented sector makes up four million households or around 17 per cent.


North-South divide in owner occupation

Leeds Building Society noted that there were clear regional differences in owner occupation, with over 60 per cent of households being owner occupiers in all English regions bar London.

London has the lowest level of owner occupation at 49 per cent.

The East Midlands had the highest level of owner occupation at 70.1 per cent, followed by South East at 69.1 per cent and East of England at 68.7 per cent.

London had the highest level of private rented accommodation at 29.1 per cent, followed by Yorkshire and the Humber at 18.6 per cent and South West of England at 18.3 per cent.

The North East took the top spot for the proportion of social rented accommodation at 22 per cent, followed by London at 21.9 per cent and West Midlands at 17.7 per cent.

From a local authority perspective, Rochford in the East of England had the highest owner occupation rate at 81.2 per cent, followed by Castle Point in the East of England at 80.4 per cent and Fareham in the South East with 79.2 per cent.

Tower Hamlets has the lowest owner occupation rate at 25.7 per cent. Hackney takes second position with 27.1 per cent and Westminster is third with 28.1 per cent.


Leeds: ‘Owner occupation is the preferred housing tenure’

Andrew Cook, senior strategy manager at Leeds Building Society, said: “There is little doubt that owner occupation remains the preferred housing tenure for many people. After a period of decline between 2003 and 2016, we are now starting to see an increase once again in the number of people owning their own homes but appreciate the ongoing challenges aspiring homeowners face.

“Here at Leeds, our purpose is to help put home ownership within the reach of more people and although mortgage costs for many have increased since last year’s mini Budget and housing is currently at its least affordable point since records began, we expect the desire for people to get on the housing ladder to remain. This will continue to underpin demand for housing.”

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