1.7 million more people are renting property in England and Wales than 10 years ago, according to the national census.
Ownership with a mortgage or loan decreased six percentage points from 39 per cent (8.4 million) in 2001 to 33 per cent (7.6 million) in 2011, the census' latest figures revealed, while ownership outright increased by two percentage points from 29 per cent (6.4 million) in 2001 to 31 per cent (7.2 million) in 2011. At the same time, renting from a private landlord or letting agency increased six percentage points from nine per cent (1.9 million) in 2001 to 15 per cent (3.6 million) in 2011.
The relative proportions of accommodation types remained the same between 2001 and 2011 although the percentage of households living in purpose-built flats, maisonettes or apartments in a block of flats or tenements rose by two percentage points from 14 per cent (3.1 million) households in 2001 to 16 per cent (4.0 million) in 2011.
There was a two percentage point increase in households containing one cohabiting couple family; from eight per cent (1.8 million) in 2001 to 10 per cent (2.3 million) in 2011.
The proportion of lone parents also increased, by one percentage point, from 10 per cent (2.1 million) in 2001 to 11 per cent (2.5 million) in 2011, while the proportion of households containing one married family decreased four percentage points from 37 per cent (7.9 million) in 2001 to 33 per cent (7.8 million) in 2011. Although the decrease reflects the decrease in numbers of marriages since the 1970's, this category is not directly comparable between 2001 and 2011 because the 2011 category includes civil partnerships for the first time.
The places where families are living have marginally increased in size, the census data also showed. In England and Wales in 2011 there was an average of 5.4 rooms per household, an increase of 0.1 on the estimate of 5.3 in 2001. This ranged from 4.7 in London, the only region with an average of less than 5.3 rooms, to 5.6 in the East Midlands, East of England, South East and South West. Wales had the highest average number of rooms per household, 5.7.
The 2011 Census asked about the number of bedrooms in households for the first time. The average number of bedrooms per household in England and Wales was 2.7. There was little variation across England and Wales, with London reporting the lowest average, 2.5 bedrooms per household, and all other England regions and Wales with an average of either 2.7 or 2.8.
The occupancy ratings of rooms and bedrooms are indicators of deprivation and overcrowding in a household. An occupancy rating of -1 implies that there is one room too few for the number of people living in the household. In 2011 nine per cent (2.0 million) of households in England and Wales had an occupancy rating of -1 or less for rooms. This is an increase of two percentage points on 2001, when seven per cent (1.5 million) of households in England and Wales had an occupancy rating of -1 or less for rooms. Five per cent (1.1 million) had an occupancy rating of -1 or less for bedrooms1.
London had the highest percentages of households with occupancy ratings of -1 or less for rooms and bedrooms, 22 per cent (707,000) and 12 per cent (380,000) respectively, as the capital's housing shortage continues to push more people towards rented accommodation.
The census also revealed that the number of immigrants in England and Wales has increased by 2.9 million in the 10 years to 2011, according to the latest census results, as the country becomes an increasingly multicultural place for home buyers.
13 per cent (7.5 million) of usual residents reported a country of birth outside the UK, found the census, an increase of four percentage points since 2001.
In both 2001 and 2011 London had the largest percentage of foreign born residents; increasing 10 percentage points from 27 per cent (1.9 million) of usual residents being foreign born in 2001 to 37 per cent (3.0 million) in 2011. Hence in London in 2011, more than one in three usual residents was non-UK born.
Indeed, London has seen an increasing number of overseas investors enter the property market as they seek a financial safe haven from the wider financial climate.Google+