House Ownership and Demographics in the UK

How many people own their homes and how many rent? At the end of 2016, a UK-wide survey found that about 65%of UK households are owner-occupiers, while 17% are rented from private landlords and 18% from social landlords.

How does that compare to previous years? Social renting has declined since 1996, and private renting has increased, which no doubt reflects what has gone on with house building. The rate of owner-occupation is also slightly lower than it was ten years ago.

The data on ownership and renting came from an analysis of the Labour Force Survey. The results were reported in a Commons Briefing Paper published in June.

What are the regional trends and demographic variations in home ownership and renting?

– As you might guess, owner occupation is lowest in London, and most common in the south of England and Wales

– Social renting of homes is more common in Scotland, London and the north of England, although the numbers of social renters have fallen over the last twenty years (particularly in the north of England)

– Private renting has increased across the UK. It’s most common in London

– London and the north of England saw the least growth in the number of owner-occupied households between 1996 and 2016

When it comes to age:

– Households with a younger household reference person are not as likely to be owner-occupiers, and they are more liable to rent privately

– The age gap in who owns homes has grown over the last twenty years. The group, 16-34-year-olds, are less likely to own their home, and the over 65s more likely

Ethnic groups and home ownership:

– Owning a home is more common in households led by a person who is white, Indian or Pakistani than it is among other ethnic groups

– Home ownership rates fell among all ethnic groups between the years 2011 and 2016. The fall was greater among non-white ethnic peoples

Country of birth:

– Households that are led by someone born outside of the UK are less likely to be owner-occupied. They are more likely to rent privately. For social renting, the rates of UK born and non-UK-born household led persons are similar

– There has been a substantial growth in the last twenty years in the number of households led by someone born outside of the UK. Most of the growth is in private rented accommodation

A 2016 report from the Resolution Foundation looked at home ownership among the different generations. The report said that the second half of the 20th Century was characterised by mass home ownership among the ‘silent’ generation (people born between 1926 and 1945) and the baby boomers (those born in 1945-55).

The progress has been reversed since. Generation X (1966-80) and millennials (1981-2000) are less likely than previous generations to own their homes. A 30-year-old millennial has a lower home ownership rate than baby boomers did at the age of 24. In fact, the millennial is less likely to own his or her home than the silent generation fifty-five years earlier.