Across local authority areas in England there was an increase of 1.6 million dwellings owned outright between 2012 and 2020, but a decrease of 0.6 million dwellings owned with a mortgage.
All local authorities contained more dwellings owned outright in 2020 than in 2012; 99% of local authorities contained more privately rented dwellings, and three-quarters (74%) more social-rented dwellings.
We estimate that in 2020, Castle Point in the East of England had the highest percentage of dwellings that were owner-occupied (82%), and Hackney in Inner London had the lowest (28%).
Hackney had the highest percentage of social-rented dwellings, at 41% in 2020, while Castle Point had the lowest proportion, at 5.4%.
Westminster had the highest proportion of private-rented dwellings, at 43% in 2020, and North East Derbyshire had the lowest (18%).
There is a wide variation in tenures within local authorities across England, with local authority areas on the outskirts of towns and cities showing different patterns from those in more urban areas.
The five local authority areas with the lowest proportion of owner-occupied dwellings were in Inner London. Our statistics allow us to further divide owner-occupied dwellings into those owned outright and those owned with a mortgage.
Figure 3 shows that of the areas with the lowest proportion of owner-occupied dwellings, four have more owner-occupied dwellings owned with a mortgage than owned outright. The areas with the highest levels of owner occupation tend to have more dwellings which are owned outright.
The five areas with the highest proportions of owner-occupied dwellings neighbour a local authority that mainly covers one urban area – such as Southend-on-Sea (Castle Point and Rochford), Leicester (Oadby and Wigston, and Blaby) and Stoke-on-Trent (Staffordshire Moorlands). This suggests that the tenure mix within local authority areas can be influenced by neighbouring authorities including urban areas.Back to table of contents
Local authority areas with a high proportion of privately rented dwellings tend to be in urban areas, particularly Inner London. Figure 4 shows the local authority areas with the highest and lowest proportions of privately rented dwellings in 2020.
Inner London areas have the highest proportion of privately rented dwellings in 2020. Three Inner London local authority areas had more than twice the average local authority proportion of 18%.
The local authority areas with a low proportion of privately rented dwellings include some that neighbour a local authority covering one urban area – such as Chesterfield (North East Derbyshire, 9%), and Southend-on-Sea (Rochford 10%).
Further trends in the private-rented sector can be found in UK private-rented sector: 2018, Private rental market summary statistics and Living longer: changes in housing tenure over time.Back to table of contents
Subnational estimates of dwellings by tenure, England
Dataset | Released 31 January 2022
Tenure estimates for dwellings at the local authority district level in England for 2012 to 2020. These data are produced using the Generalised Structure Preserving Estimator (GSPREE) method.
Subnational estimates of households by tenure, England
Dataset | Released 31 January 2022
Tenure estimates for households at the local authority district level in England for 2012 to 2020. These data are produced using the Generalised Structure Preserving Estimator (GSPREE) method.
A household refers to a person living alone, or a group of people living at the same address who share cooking facilities and living room or sitting or dining area.
A dwelling refers to the physical unit of accommodation which may have one or more household spaces.
This tenure category covers units of accommodation in which the occupier either owns the property in full (owned outright) or has taken out a mortgage or loan (owned with mortgage or loan) to help purchase their home and is still in the process of repaying the debt.
This tenure category covers units of accommodation in which the occupier owns the property in full and has no outstanding mortgage repayments or money owed in connection with the property in any other form.
Owned with mortgage or loan
This tenure category covers units of accommodation in which the occupier has taken out taken out a loan or mortgage to help purchase their home and are still in the process of repaying the debt, including shared ownership.
This tenure category includes all units of accommodation that are not occupied by the owner but are occupied by a tenant or group of tenants. Privately rented accommodation is owned by a landlord who can be but is not limited to:
a private individual
a friend or family member
This tenure category also includes occupiers who are living in properties that they do not own but do not pay rent, and squatting tenants.
This tenure category includes all units of accommodation that are owned or maintained by a local council, housing association (private registered provider), charitable trust or local housing company and are occupied by a tenant or group of tenants.Back to table of contents
Annual estimates of the tenure breakdown at a subnational level will provide evidence to monitor the distribution of tenure over time within an area and between areas. This will help users such as planning authorities who might use this information in setting housing policy. This allows them to monitor the distribution of tenure over time within an area and between areas.
We produce datasets that provide estimates of subnational tenure breakdown for both dwellings and households. When using this data, it is important to consider which is most suitable for the intended purpose. Households would be the most useful measure if the user was interested in tenure estimates based on the groups of people who live in properties. Dwellings would be the most useful measure if the user was interested in the number of physical units of accommodation (including those that are vacant) available to be taken up by each of the tenure types (total dwelling stock).
For more information on the differences between households and dwellings, please see the associated Quality and Methodology information (QMI) report.
For definitions of households and dwellings, please see Section 8: Glossary.
There are two important points for interpreting figures in this article. The first is that the commentary in this article focuses on dwellings rather than households. The second is that the statistics presented in this release are subject to a margin of error. This is because the estimates are partly based on survey data and there is a level of variability across input data sources. In this article, differences and changes described are those that are considered significant, where the 95% confidence intervals do not overlap.
For 2020 data, there is an additional element of unmeasured uncertainty because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic affecting the data collection method for the Annual Population Survey (APS), which underlies the estimates in this publication.
Generalised Structure Preserving Estimator method
To estimate the number of households and dwellings that fall within each tenure category at the local authority district level, we use the Generalised Structure Preserving Estimator (PDF, 2.26MB)(GSPREE) method. The GSPREE method uses small area estimation techniques to combine and draw strength from several data sources. It takes census data from 2011 and supplements it with social survey data from the Annual Population Survey (APS). This is to generate more reliable and complete estimates than it would be possible to generate from each source individually. Estimates are benchmarked against row and column margins to ensure that they are correctly scaled to represent the population. For more information on the GSPREE process, see Explaining the Generalised Structure Preserving Estimator.
For more information on the data sources we use as part of the GSPREE method, please see the Quality and Methodology information (QMI) report.
Comparing estimates of households and dwellings
Alongside this article we have published subnational tenure estimate datasets for both households and dwellings.
For more information on the differences between households and dwellings, please see the associated Quality and Methodology information (QMI) report.Back to table of contents
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