Conventional data is overestimating the actual number of homeowners, with many more renters than suggested, a think tank has revealed.

The Resolution Foundation has stated that the original estimate of 64% home ownership in the UK is too high, as those sharing or with lodgers weren’t factored in properly.

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According to the think tank, the official figures focused on households over people. This led them to suggest that, in reality, only 51% of families or individuals own a home.

Our new analysis shows that we should perhaps obsess a little less about homeowners, and think more about how the other half live,”

it said according to the BBC.

Furthermore, its figures reveal that the number of families owning their own home has reached its peak in 2002 and dropped ever since.

A family, or family unit, is defined as an individual, a couple, or a parent or parents and their children. Therefore, Resolution Foundation would count one household that is shared by five single adults as five family units.

Renting a home from a private landlord in Britain has risen in costs by 2.3%, the latest official figures have revealed. This increase was driven by a 2.4% rise in England (with 3.4% in the South East), the ONS said.

House prices saw an increase of 6% over the same period of time.

The latest available data is from 2015 and the ONS states that at the time, there were 27 million households in the UK.

At the same time, however, Resolution Foundation argues that the ONS missed 5.8 million families or individuals who lived in someone else’s home. The overwhelming majority of them (80%) were adult children returning to live with their parents again.

In another report, the same think tank also said that major cities, especially Manchester, had seen the sharpest fall in home ownership since it peaked in the early 2000s.

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A spokesperson for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: “We’ve halted the decline in home ownership, with the number of first-time buyers up nearly 60%, and over 335,000 households helped into home ownership through government-backed schemes since 2010.”

“We’ve also set out the most ambitious vision for housing of any government since the 1970s, investing £9.4bn over the course of this parliament. Our upcoming Housing White Paper will clearly set out how we plan to build the homes this country needs.”