Older owners: research on the lives, aspirations and housing outcomes of older homeowners in the UK

Document type
Lloyd, James; Parry, Will
Strategic Society Centre
Date of publication
14 October 2015
Housing and Homelessness, Older Adults
Social welfare
Material type

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This report describes the results of quantitative research into older homeowners in the UK, using data drawn from the 2011 Census and a nationally representative panel survey. In 2011, there were around 6.5 million older living in owner-occupied homes in England, of whom 5.7 million owned their home outright, with the remainder owning with a mortgage or some form of shared ownership. Patterns of tenure in the 65+ population are broadly consistent, with 70-80% of older people living in owner-occupied homes in different geographic areas. However, within the older generation owner-occupation rates are lower among the oldest-old (85+) than those aged 65 to 74. In 2011-12, the median value of older people’s homes in the UK was £200,000, with this average varying across different regions between £150,000 and £300,000. In all areas of the UK, nearly three-quarters (72%) of older people living in owner-occupied homes have three or more bedrooms in their home. Around two-thirds of older people living in owner-occupied housing in the UK live with a partner, while just under one-third live alone. Levels of income among older homeowners vary significantly by area. In most regions, total gross monthly personal income at the 50th percentile (median) is around £1,000 per month (2011-12 prices). With the exception of Northern Ireland, over half of older homeowners have an employer pension. Across the East and South of England, over 20% report a private pension or annuity income. Around four-fifths of older homeowners in the UK report that they are ‘living comfortably’ or ‘doing alright’.

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