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The number of owner-occupied households has continued to fall, according to the latest English Housing Survey.

The EHS 2010/11 survey says there were 14.45 Million owner-occupied households, compared with a peak of 14.79 Million in 2005.

By contrast, the number of Private Rental Sector (PRS) households has dramatically increased to 3.62 Million, compared with 2.45 Million in 2005.

In 2010-11

  • 66% of households were owner occupiers
  • 17% were private renters
  • 17% were social tenants.

The biggest shift towards renting in 2010/11 was in the 16 to 34-year-old age group.

  • 36% of this age group were in owner occupation
  • 18% were social renters
  • 46% were renting privately.

When compared with 1991, 60% of this age group were owner occupiers and 18% were renting privately.

The average household size for all households was 2.3 people, with 29% of all households containing just one person.

Owner occupiers were richer than private tenants, but paid less on a mortgage than tenants did on rent. An owner-occupier household had an annual income of £40,900 (GBP) compared with £29,000 (GBP) for private tenants. Owner occupiers made average weekly mortgage payments of £143 (GBP), compared with average weekly rent of £160 (GBP).

On average, weekly mortgage payments were 19% of home owners’ income, while weekly rent payments were 43% of tenants’ income. Private tenants had the highest housing costs of all three groups – owner occupiers, private tenants and social tenants.

The English Housing Survey also noted a significant fall in the number of households with a mortgage, down from 8.3 Million in 1996-97 to 7.1 Million in 2010-11.

There has also been a major change in the type of mortgage: in 1996-97, 33% of mortgages were repayment loans, while in 2010-11 this had increased to 73%. Only 3% of mortgages were interest-only in 1996-97, but the proportion had increased to 13% in 2010-11.

The survey found that 59% of private tenants and 23% of social tenants expect to buy a residential property at some point, and 16% had considered buying a home in the previous 12 months.

However, there was not much confidence about UK property prices: in nearly every region other than London, a larger proportion of households thought their property value had decreased rather than increased in value over the previous year. Around 1% believed they were in negative equity.

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