Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more


  • Comment
In 2001/2, there were 1.2 million recent first-time buyers (those who ...
In 2001/2, there were 1.2 million recent first-time buyers (those who

had acquired their accommodation since 1998) representing 9 per cent

of all owners in England. Most were aged under 35, but in the case of

former council / housing association sitting tenants, the majority was

aged 35 or more.

This is one of the key findings published today in the 2001/02 Survey

of English Housing, which provides key housing data on owner

occupation and on social and private rented sectors.

The annual survey of nearly 20,000 households was carried out for the

ODPM by the National Centre for Social Research and includes new

questions on energy efficiency, car ownership and access to

amenities, disability and gardening for wildlife.

Some of the other key findings are:

- Number of households

The number of households in England rose from 17.2 million households

in 1981 to 20.3 million households in 2001/2. This increase, which

exceeded the modest growth in population, reflects the tendency for

the average household size to decline.

- Owners

Home ownership, which had increased substantially during the 1980's,

grew more slowly during the 1990's, from 68 per cent of all

households in 1991 to 70 per cent (14.3 million) in 2001/2. Most of

this growth was in households owning outright as mortgages taken out

in earlier decades were paid off.

- Social Rented Sector Tenants

The number of households renting from councils fell from 5.1 million

(30 per cent of all households) in 1981 to 2.8 million (14 per cent)

in 2001/2. This reflects both 'Right to buy' purchases by tenants and

direct transfer of council dwellings to registered social landlords

(mainly housing associations). The number of households renting from

a registered social landlord increased from 0.4 million (2 per cent)

in 1981 to 1.2 million (6 per cent) in 2001/2, but overall there was

a decline in the size of the social rented sector.

- Private Renters

The proportion of privately renting households was 8.6 per cent (1.6

million) in 1989 and at 9.7 per cent (2.0 million) in 2001/2. Most of

this increase took place in the early 1990's, largely in response to

the changes introduced by the 1988 Housing Act.

- Ethnicity

Indian households were more likely to be owners (81 per cent),

followed by Pakistani (73 per cent) and White British (72 per cent).

Irish households were less likely to be owners (56 per cent). Black

African households were more likely to be social renters (51 per

cent) and more likely to be private renters (31 per cent). Black

Caribbean households were least likely to be private renters (7 per


- Second homes

It is estimated that 152 thousand English households had a second

home in England in 2001/02 (excluding those held solely as an

investment) with a similar number of second homes outside Great

Britain, 147 thousand. While the number of households with second

homes in England has remained comparatively stable in recent years

the number with second homes outside Great Britain has been

increasing steadily. The most common reasons given for having a

second home were as a holiday home or retirement cottage (60 per

cent), or working away from home (17 per cent).

- Disability

In total, 270 thousand households contained someone with a serious

medical condition or disability, where the special adaptations to the

home required had not been made. Accommodation was least likely to

have been adapted to make it suitable if the disabled individual was

young, or the household was living in the private rented sector.

- Car ownership and Access to amenities

Access to a local hospital was seen as more difficult than access to

other local services (22 per cent found this 'very fairly difficult'

and 9 per cent 'very difficult'). Those with the use of a car

generally had few problems accessing local services. However 20 pe r

cent still found access to a local hospital fairly difficult, and 6

per cent very difficult.

- Use of the garden and encouraging wildlife

In 2001/2, 85 per cent of households had a garden, and 66 per cent of

this figure encouraged wildlife by feeding the birds.


1. Housing in England 2001/02 is available here.

2. This report follows preliminary results published in August 2002

and 'core tables' published on the ODPM website in December 2002.

3. National Statistics are produced to high professional standards

set out in the National Statistics Code of Practice. They undergo

regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet consumer


  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.