The Pattern of Housing Tenure
Housing tenure refers to the distribution of ownership among different types of property.
1. Owner-occupied housing - owner-occupiers either own their property out-right if
people have paid off their mortgage loan. Or they are in the process of buying their
property and have some remaining mortgage debt left to repay
2. Privately rented housing i.e. properties made available by the rented sector. This
includes properties made available through the expansion of the buy-to-let sector
3. Public rented housing this is council / local authority housing also known as
social housing made available at a subsidised rate to tenants
4. Quasi rented housing sector this includes different types of housing made
available by non-profit making housing associations acting as registered social
In 1914, only one home in ten was privately owned and the majority of properties were
rented out by landlords.
The post-war years saw a huge expansion of council house building and by 1970, over
30% of the housing stock was in local authority control. This has now declined to a level
less than one half of the 1970 figure.
The private rented sector also declined during the 1960s and 1970s before stabilising at
around 10% of the total housing stock by the end of the twentieth century.
Seventy per cent of the housing stock in the UK is now owner-occupied.
According to data from the Halifax, owner occupation is highest in the South East (76%)
and the South West (75%). In contrast, home-ownership rates are lowest in Greater
London (59%) and Scotland (64%). However, Scotland has seen the fastest rate of
increase in home-ownership in the past ten years, a twelve percentage point rise three
times the average UK growth
The decline in local authority housing
In the last twenty five years, there has been a large reduction in the stock of council
houses built and maintained by local authorities
The growth of housing associations
Housing Associations are providers of low-cost housing for people in the UK who cannot
afford to buy their own properties
The major long-term changes in the pattern of housing tenure can be summarised as
A rise in the proportion of the population that are owner-occupiers
A falling share of the population in private rented properties despite buy-to-let
A decline in the share of housing supply met by local authorities
An increase in the housing stock made available through housing associations