70% of GB dwellings are owner-occupied
Dwelling stock: by region and tenure, 2003
In 2003/04, 70 per cent of dwellings (18 million) in Great Britain were owner-occupied. This was an increase of 45 per cent from 12 million in 1981. Over the same period the number of homes rented in the social sector declined steadily. In 1981 there were 7 million dwellings in this sector. By 2003 the number had fallen by one quarter to just under 5 million.
Tenure varies markedly according to the type of household. Lone parents with dependent children are much more likely to rent their property than own it. In 2003/04 only one in three (36 per cent) of these households in the United Kingdom were owner occupiers, 50 per cent rented from the social sector and 15 per cent rented privately. In contrast, four in five households comprising a couple with dependent children were owner-occupiers, most of whom were buying with a mortgage. Outright home ownership is highest among those over pensionable age. Almost three fifths (56 per cent) of one person households over pensionable age owned their home outright, compared with around a third of households overall.
Tenure also varies regionally. In 2003/04 owner-occupation was highest in the South East, East Midlands and East (75 per cent) and lowest in London (58 per cent) and Scotland (67 per cent). The South West region and Wales had the highest percentage of homes owned outright (34 per cent) and the South East outside of London had the highest proportion owned with a mortgage (44 per cent). London had by far the highest proportion rented from the private sector (17 per cent).
Sources: Housing statistics return: Office for Deputy Prime Minister, Welsh Assembly, Scottish Executive, Labour Force Survey: Office for National Statistics
Notes: Pensionable age includes all females over the age of 60 and all men over the age of 65