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Owner Occupation

Volume 458: debated on Monday 19 March 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the mean imputed rent is for owner-occupiers in each household income decile. (127313)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 19 March 2007:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking what the mean imputed rent is for owner occupiers in each household income decile. (127313).

This information is not available. The main National Statistics on household income distribution, such as Households Below Average Income (HBAI) and The Effects of Taxes and Benefits on Household Income, do not use definitions of income which include imputed rent for owner-occupiers. HBAI presents statistics using two definitions of income: 'before housing costs' and 'after housing costs'. This latter measure achieves greater comparability between owner-occupier households and those that rent accommodation, albeit only for a measure of income which disregards housing and the contribution it makes to a households standard of living.

Comparisons of income distributions between countries are particularly affected by structural differences between housing markets. Therefore in statistics for international comparison, the treatment of housing is particularly important. The new EU-SILC (European Union—Survey on Income and Living Conditions) will include estimates of imputed rent from the 2007 survey onwards (data available from 2009

onwards).

Estimates of the total imputed rent for all owner-occupiers are included in the National Accounts, although this information is not available by income decile group.