Key Findings from the Housing Census Data

Key Findings from the Housing Census Data  hero

What is the census?

Taking place every 10 years, the census exists to give individuals and organisations a picture of people and households across England and Wales, helping them make decisions on planning and funding for public services across the country. 

Earlier this month, The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published its housing census data, breaking down key statistics regarding home ownership and occupancy. Given that this data was last collected in 2011, it highlights key changes that have taken place over the last decade. 

Below are key takeaways from this data: 



The majority of homeowners in England now own their own home outright.

In terms of homeowners, they key statistics are: 

  • 33% of homeowners own outright (Compared to 31% in 2011) 
  • 29% of homeowners own their home with a mortgage (33% in 2011) 

The census has been recording mortgage status since 1991 and this is the first time that the data has shown that mortgage-free homeowners are in the majority. 

There has been a drop in the number of social housing rentals and a rise in private rentals. 

In terms of renters, they key statistics are: 

  • 20% of renters rent through private rental (17% in 2011) 
  • 17% of renters rent through social rental (18% in 2011) 

This ONS data states that 5.0 million people rented their accommodation privately (defined as renting through a private landlord or letting agent), compared to 3.9 million 2011. 



London has the lowest level of homeownership.

London in particular has a high number of rented properties as the level of homeownership within the capital is so low, the ONS states that: 

“Within England, London had the lowest level of overall home ownership (46.8%) of any English region. London also had the highest proportion of households that rented privately (30.0%) or in the social rented sector (23.1%).” 

What does this potentially mean for you? 

This data reflects both challenges and potential opportunities for homeowners and renters. 

If, for example, you are currently renting and working in London you may face an increase in rent and property costs. It may make more financial sense to consider areas outside of London where you can buy or rent property at a lower cost. Areas such as Newbury and Didcot have fantastic commuting opportunities from both public transport and road networks. As well as affecting those looking for accommodation, the situation in London also creates opportunities for people that have property that could be sold or rented to those looking to travel into the capital. 

Renting opportunities are also there to be capitalised on by those outside of London. The rise in private rentals shows that those in a position to should be considering renting their existing properties or buy to let. However, it is important to remember that renting out your property requires careful planning. We work with all types of landlords and work with you to ensure that becoming/being a landlord is as stress-free as possible. 

Equally the increase in homeowners that own their property outright shows that it could be a good time for anyone in this position to consider downsizing if children etc. have left home. This could free up capital which could then be used for other life events such as travel. 

The reality is, while the census presents an idea of the wider picture, every individual is in a very specific scenario and circumstance. Jones Robinson offers a bespoke service to all our clients. Focusing on the areas that are going to make the biggest difference to you.  

About Jones Robinson.

As leading, local estate agents in Newbury, Didcot, Lambourn & Hungerford, Marlborough and Devizes, and the surrounding areas, we are best placed to help you sell your property. We can even help you find your next home.

By offering a personalised service we can tailor the sale and timeline to your requirements as we don’t believe the ‘one size fits all’ approach works in this Industry.

The way we work is very transparent with a clear sales process, so you know what to expect. This is especially useful if this is your first time selling a house. Contact us today to find out how we can help you sell your home, and for advice and guidance on the local area.