1. Economics
May 31, 2016

Between 2001 and 2011, home ownership rates fell in every British city – except one

By Jonn Elledge

The latest instalment of our weekly series, in which we use the Centre for Cities’ data tools to crunch some of the numbers on Britain’s cities. 

Last week in this space we looked at which cities had the highest and lowest home ownership rates. We found, basically, no pattern whatsoever. Great work, guys.

But if you look at how those numbers have changed, there is a pattern. And it’s a particularly depressing one.

Between the 2001 census, and the most recent one, home ownership rates fell in every one of the 63 cities in the Centre for Cities database – except one. Step forward Barnsley, where the percentage of households that owned their own home increased by a whopping 0.6 per cent.

Click to expand.

So. Ownership rates have fallen in almost all cities – but they’ve fallen in some by a lot more than others.

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Here’s the same chart colour coded by region. What should be clear is that our old mate the north south divide is back again. Ownership rates in cities in the south of England (red or pink) have mostly fallen by much bigger degrees than those in northern cities (yellowy beige).

Click to expand.

One more chart. This is the extent of the falls in home ownership rates, plotted against the housing affordability ratio (that is, the multiple of average incomes required to buy the average property).

Click to expand.

That’s a correlation co-efficient of -0.39. House prices are not the only factor at work here – but they’re clearly a substantial one. The higher the house prices in a city, the more home ownership rates are likely to have fallen by.

And these figures are five years old now. At risk of speculating without data – do you really think these falls will have reversed at all, since?

Here’s an interactive map showing the change in home ownership rates. Knock yourselves out.

Jonn Elledge is the editor of CityMetric. He is on Twitter, far too much, as @jonnelledge.

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