Ten Fascinating Facts about Home Ownership you Never Knew

Thanks to Deacon, a specialist blocks of flats insurer, here’s some interesting facts about home ownership in the UK you probably didn’t know.

Fact 1: Your home is your Castle

Under common law, set out in the 17th Century, no one may enter your home unless by invitation.  There are however around 900 powers of entry which grant access to your home by state officials and emergency services, but these are carefully controlled by law.

Fact 2: Home Ownership is Decreasing

Peaking at 71% of homes occupied by the home owner in 2003, that number has slowly declined to just 64% in 2019.  That is largely due to financial barriers to ownership, with those born in the 1980’s owning just 25% of their homes, compared to 43% born in the 1970s.

Fact 3: Home Owners Over 50 hold 75% of Housing Wealth

In line with the preceding fact, the younger generations don’t own as much property, and certainly not the higher value homes, for example under 35s own just 4% of UK property value.

Fact 4: Home Ownership Only Became Popular in the 20th Century

In 1918 less than 35% of households were owner-occupied, with most people renting their homes.  New builds were for property landlords ready to be rented out, and mortgages were rare, most housing being bought outright.  It wasn’t until the late 1950s and 1960s during the austerity period that home ownership took off.

Fact 5: The Law is in Favour of Leaseholders

Leasehold Reforms have slowly been made over the past decades to ensure that leaseholders are protected by easier leas extensions, and stricter control over service charges.  This is particularly good news for Flat owners.

Fact 6: Higher House Price Doesn’t Equal Happier Home Owner

According to quality of life surveys, those with better personal wellbeing and the best quality of life don’t live in the highest property value regions of the country.  Orkney ranks top, with small towns in North Yorkshire, East Midlands and Cumbria ranking top for happiness levels.  So money doesn’t guarantee happiness.

Fact 7: New Homes Are Getting Smaller

Since the 1940s the size of new homes started to increase with larger living rooms and bedrooms, and overall square footage.  This peaked in the 1970s but houses remained relatively large up until the past 20 years where rooms and houses have become smaller than ever before, only just about rivalling a double decker bus for space.

In 1970 the average living room was just under 25m2 with the typical kitchen around 15m2, having an average of 3.5 bedrooms.  Zoom forward to the 2010s and the living room is now just 16m2 which is in line with the boom of blocks of flats building in the 1960s and the 1930s when new housing was aimed at poorer families.

Fact 8: Britain’s Oldest Occupied House is 870 Years Old

Saltford Manor near Bath was built in around 1150 and is the oldest continuously occupied dwelling in the UK.

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