Migrants and housing in the UK

This briefing reviews the statistical and research evidence on migrants’ experiences in and impacts on the UK housing system.

Key Points

  • The foreign-born population has significantly lower ownership rates (44% were homeowners in 2011) than the UK-born (70%).
  • The foreign-born population is three times as likely to be in the private rental sector (37% were in this sector in 2011), compared to the UK-born (13%).
  • Recent migrants (i.e. those who have been in the UK for five years or less) are more than twice as likely to be renters (76% were in the private rental sector in 2011), compared to other migrants. Those migrants who have been in the UK longer tend to have accommodation similar to that of the UK-born.
  • UK-born individuals and foreign-born individuals have similar levels of participation in social housing (about 17% of UK-born individuals and 18% of foreign-born individuals were in social housing during 2011). 
  • A foreign citizen was reported as the household reference person in less than 10% of all new general needs social housing lettings with available information.
  • There is little systematic evidence on the impact of immigration on house prices and rents in the UK. Some evidence suggests that the housing shortage in the UK would continue even with zero net-migration. FULL article

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