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Key housing data released

The Department for Communities and Local Government has published €˜Housing in England 2005-06€™, which provides key housing data on owner occupation and on the social and private rented sectors.

The survey shows that in 2005-06, there were 14.6 million (70 per cent) owner-occupying households, 3.7 million (18 per cent) social renters and 2.5 million (12 per cent) private renters.

It also shows that the proportion of people aged 25-34 who are owner-occupiers has fallen, with private renting becoming more common amongst this age group.

Key findings are:
· Home ownership: Fifty-six per cent of homeowners were buying their home with a mortgage.  44 per cent owned their home outright, of whom 12 percent had bought their home outright at the outset; 29 per cent had bought with a mortgage but had since paid it off; and three per cent had acquired their home through other means.
· First-time buyers: Of the 5.5 million first-time owners, 713,000 had purchased their home since 2002.  41 per cent of recent first-time buyers were previously private renters, five per cent were previously social renters, 37 per cent were newly formed households and 17 per cent were previously sitting tenants. 75 per cent of recent first-time buyers were under 35.
· Private renting growing in popularity: From 1993 to 2005, the proportion of household reference persons aged 25 to 29 who were owner occupiers fell from 60 per cent to 47 per cent while the proportion that were private renters rose from 19 per cent to 35 per cent; amongst 25-34 year olds the proportion of private renters rose from 11 per cent to 21 per cent with owner occupiers falling from 69 to 63 per cent.
· Tenure by age of household reference person: The type of tenure varies considerably by age.  In 2005-06, 52 per cent of household reference persons (HRPs) aged 16-24 were private renters and 30 per cent were social renters.  79 per cent of HRPs aged 45-64 were owner occupiers. Sixty-seven per cent of HRPs aged over 65 owned their own home outright, while 22 per cent were social renters.
· Second homes: It is estimated there are 242,000 households with second homes in England, 36,000 with second homes in Wales or Scotland and 211,000 with second homes outside Great Britain. Overseas, Spain is the most popular country with 34 per cent of second homes, followed by France with 23 per cent.
· Economic status: Amongst owner occupiers, 92 per cent of HRPs buying on a mortgage were working compared to only 36 per cent of outright owners. 58 per cent of outright owners were retired, compared to only three per cent of mortgage holders.  In the private rented sector, 69 per cent of HRPs were working and 11 per cent retired.  6 per cent of social renting HRPs were unemployed, 33 per cent were retired and 30 per cent were economically inactive for other reasons.
· Household composition: In 2005-06, couples with no dependent children were the most common type (36 per cent) of all households. One person households formed the second largest household type (28 per cent).
· Ethnicity: In 2005-06, 8 per cent of all households in England were black or minority ethnic (BME), i.e. the household reference person was from a BME group. There are notable differences in tenure between ethnic groups. Indian households are more likely to be owner occupiers than any other ethnic group.
· Recently moved households: Two million households moved into private accommodation in the 12-month period prior to 2005-06.  363,000 of these (18 per cent of the total) were newly-formed households – of whom 199,000 moved into private renting, 82,000 into social renting and 82,000 into owner occupation.
· Movers out of owner occupation: Of existing households, an estimated 366,000 reported having left owner-occupation in the three years prior to interview.  Of these, about 70 per cent moved to the private rented sector and 30 per cent into social housing. The main reasons cited for having left home ownership were divorce or separation, other personal reasons and job-related reasons.
· Rents: Average rents (before housing benefit) were £66 per week for social renters and £125 per week for private renting households.
· Households in deprived areas: In the 10 per cent of most deprived areas of England, only 36 per cent of households were owner occupiers €“ compared with 73 per cent of households elsewhere.
· Problems in the neighbourhood: From a range of issues, half of respondents said that in their neighbourhood crime and traffic were the main concerns.  However, the figure for crime has declined from 74 per cent of households reporting it as a problem in 1994-95 to 49 per cent in 2005-06.  But concerns over traffic have risen: 53 per cent said it was a problem in 2005-06 compared with only 40 per cent in 2001-02.