Latest snapshot shows most people in England own their own home

Owner occupation is the most prevalent tenure in England and more own their home outright rather than having a mortgage, the latest snapshot of the housing market shows.

In 2017/2018, there were an estimated 14.8 million households who either owned their home outright or were buying with a mortgage, amounting to some 64% of all households. More than half, 53%, of owner occupiers and 34% of all households own their home outright.

The details from the latest English Housing Survey published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) also shows that home owners are, on average, older than renters. Among home owners, outright owners are older than mortgagors.

Overall, home owners were, on average, 57 years of age, older than both social renters at 53 years of age and private renters at 40 years of age. The average age of outright owners was 68 years, with 64% of outright owners aged 65 or over. Among mortgagors, the average age was 46, with 62% aged 35 to 54.

Partly explained by their different age profiles, outright owners and mortgagors also have different profiles in terms of household type. Those with a mortgage are more likely to be couples with dependent children while outright owners are more likely to be couples without children.

In 2017/2018 some 36% of mortgagors were couples with dependent children compared with 5% of outright owners. Meanwhile, 44% of outright owners were couples with no children, compared with 27% of mortgagors.

Over half of owner occupied homes are under-occupied, defined as having two or more spare bedrooms. Two thirds of home owners aged 65 plus live in an under-occupied home. Of the nine million under-occupied homes some 7.9 million of these were owner occupied, accounting for 54% of all owner occupied households.

In the last 12 months, about one in 10 owner occupiers report they had rented part or all of their home out using home sharing organisations. Some 11% had rented out their whole home and 1% rented out part of their home using home sharing organisations. The figures do not reveal how frequently they had done this, or for how long they had rented it out for. Renting out their home in this way was most common for owner occupiers in the West Midlands at 21% and London at 20%.

Home owners had lived in their current home for longer and were less likely to expect to move in the next six months than renters. Older home owners were less likely to say that they expected to move than younger home owners. Owners had lived in their current home for 17.8 years on average. By comparison, social renters had lived in their current home for 11.9 years, and private renters for 4.1 years.

Some 4% of owner occupiers expected to move home within the next six months, compared to 6% of social renters and 20% of private renters. Older home owners were less likely to say they expected to move as just 2% of home owners aged 65 and over expected to move compared to 7% of those aged 25 to 34.

The reasons for wanting to move home also varied by age. Younger home owners generally wanted larger homes. Some 77% of those aged 25 to 34 expected to move wanted a larger house or flat. On the other hand, older home owners were more likely to say they expected to move in order to downsize with 37% of those aged 55 to 64 and 32% of those aged 65 and over wanted a smaller house or flat.

While owner occupied homes were less likely to have poor housing conditions than homes in the private rented sector, the social rented sector had the lowest prevalence of poor housing conditions.

In 2017 around 2.8 million or 19% of owner occupied homes failed to meet the Decent Homes Standard. Owner occupied homes were more likely to be non-decent than those in the social rented sector at 13%, but less likely to be non-decent than homes in the private rented sector at 25%).

Around 1.7 million or 11% of owner occupied homes had a Category 1 HHSRS hazard. Owner occupied homes were more likely to have a Category 1 hazard than social rented homes at 6%, but less likely than private rented homes at 14%.

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