Thursday, 31 October 2013

Home ownership in England and Canada

Here's the result of a bit of surfing around for background for my family history. My parents moved into their first owner-occupied home in the mid-1950s. As far back as I know along the paternal line no one had previously owned a house; not unusual in England.
In 1918 only 23% of households in England and Wales were owner-occupied. That grew to 50% by 1971 and peaked at 69% in 2001. Those statistics are from a video produced for the Office of National Statistics.
Earlier statistics are questionable, aren't they always?  Estimates are (pdf) that between 13% and 22% of households could have been owner-occupied in 1831.

Property ownership was a major factor attracting immigrants to Canada in the 19th and 20th centuries. Owner occupancy was larger in rural Canada, but even in the cities it was larger than in England and Wales. Between 1905 and 1915 owner occupancy was 40-50% in Toronto with a trend for increased ownership in part accounted for by annexation of surrounding communities. The trend for urban worker immigrants to first settle in the city as renters, then purchase in the suburbs appears to be long established, see http://goo.gl/kT1MoK (pdf).  

By the latter half of the 20th century 60-70% of Canadian homes were owner occupied, comparable to England and Wales.

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