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Mosaic UK

A consumer classification providing insight into the demographics, lifestyles and behaviours of UK consumers, Mosaic is a common currency for target audience definition across traditional and digital channels.

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Renting on the rise: Experian research highlights growing disparity in property ownership

As singles in their 20s and early 30s in the South East are excluded from property ownership, more 40-plus families in semi-rural locations become mortgage-free

New insight from Experian highlights the changing structure of the property market across the UK.

The 2011 Census data for England and Wales indicates an increase in households renting privately over the previous ten years to 3.6million (15 per cent of all households), meanwhile some 31 per cent of homes are owned outright, with 7.2 million households mortgage-free. Combining this data with Experian’s own consumer demographic insight reveals the growing disparity in property ownership across the country geographically and by consumer type.

Those areas with the largest swing from ownership to private renting between 2001 and 2011 are overwhelmingly in the South East of the country. Younger people living in Slough, Brent and Enfield are most likely to be struggling to get on the housing ladder and as a result, are turning to renting. In contrast, the areas with the greatest increase in outright ownership are largely outside of the South or South East and are semi-rural locations - West Cumbria, South Staffordshire and South Northamptonshire. Experian’s insight indicates that it is the families faring reasonably well financially, although by no means the very wealthiest, that are focusing on paying off their mortgage debt.

This structural shift in the property market is significant for both businesses and the public sector. Nigel Wilson, Managing Director, Data & Analytics, Experian Marketing Services explains: “Our insight highlights to marketers the growing split in property ownership between the younger and the older populations. Younger people struggling to get on the property ladder will have an impact on key markets such as DIY, homewares and white goods retailing – people are less likely to undertake home improvement projects or buy their own furniture if they’re renting. On the other hand, there’s a growing group of richer, older people who are now mortgage free but still working and have money in their pockets and money to spend. Marketers need to identify each of these groups and closely monitor their preferences and buying habits to ensure they are reaching the right audiences.”

The private rented sector also presents challenges to local authorities because they have a statutory responsibility to ensure that properties are of sufficient standard to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of residents. A rapid increase in the size of the sector may put strain on inspection and enforcement resources, and also on schemes set up to help private landlords.

Top local authorities with biggest swing from ownership to private renting between 2001 and 2011

Cardiff, with a 10 per cent decrease in ownership and an 11 per cent increase in renting, is the only location outside of the South or South East to feature on Experian’s list of areas with the largest swing from ownership to private renting. Overall, the City of London is the place in the UK with the largest number of privately rented properties (42 per cent).

It is among key groups of young adults that the largest swings from ownership to private renting since 2001 are evident.  Among those in their 20s just at the start of their working lives (Buy to Let Territory) there has been a 14 per cent decline in ownership and the same increase in private renting. Those who have traditionally bought first homes in city centres on former brownfield sites (Brownfield Pioneers) have seen a 13 per cent decline in ownership and 14 per cent increase in renting.

Top 5 Mosaic types with the largest swing from ownership to renting between 2001 and 2011

In terms of outright ownership of properties, Copeland on the West Cumbria coast, South Staffordshire and South Northamptonshire saw increases in of 7 per cent, 6 per cent and 5.8 per cent respectively.  Meanwhile, East Dorset has the highest number of households that are outright homeowners (49 per cent of households).

Top local authorities with biggest increase in outright ownership between 2001 and 2011

Those with successful careers in their 40s and 50s with secondary school age or older children earning (Mid-Career Climbers) have seen the highest increase in outright ownership with a 10 per cent increase. Meanwhile, slightly younger middle management and professionals in their 40s with junior or early secondary school aged children (Domestic Comfort) have also focused on paying off their debt. Thirty per cent of this group are outright owners, an increase of 10 per cent.

Top 5 Mosaic types with highest increase in outright ownership between 2001 and 2011

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