The census began recording mortgage status in 1991. The 2021 census marks the first time the data has shown that amongst homeowners, those that are mortgage free are now in the majority.
In the 10 years since 2011, the % of households who have become mortgage free across England and Wales has risen from 31% to 33%. Households with a mortgage have dropped from 33% to 29%.
Recent historically low interest rates have enabled many homeowners to pay off their mortgages faster. At the same time, there has been a 4 percentage point increase in households who rent privately across England and Wales.