Correlation is not causation, but it does look like house prices and crime rates follow similar patterns.
Some analysis by Churchill Home Insurance indicates that those counties experiencing the sharpest rise in property prices are also likely to experience the biggest decrease in reported burglaries.
Across the ten regions in England and Wales, house prices increased by around 37% (Land Reg data); from an average of £199,493 in 2011 to £274,228 last year. Over the same time frame, the number of burglaries has, according to Churchill’s choice of stats, fallen by 28%, dropping from over 500,000 five years ago to 360,000 in 2016.
In London, where price growth has been most dramatic (+58%, from £331,210 in 2011 to £523,968 last year), has also seen burglary rates plummet by the biggest amount, dropping by 64% over the same period. In 2011, London had the highest number of burglaries of any region in England and Wales, with a total of 96,213 reported burglaries – or 264 every day. This number fell to 34,751 in 2016, an average of just 95 every day.
London is followed by the South East, which saw property prices rise by 41% and burglary rates fall by 27% between 2011 and 2016. The North East was the only region to experience a rise in burglaries over five years, with a 5% increase coupled with a 4% rise in property prices.
Five-year house price and burglary rate changes in regions across England and Wales
|Region||Change in property prices
(2016 vs 2011)
|Change in number of burglaries
(2016 vs 2011)
|East of England||+41%||-16%|
|Yorkshire & Humberside||+13%||-27%|
|All England and Wales||+37%||-28%|
Across England and Wales, one in every 67 households was the victim of burglary last year. In spite of London having the largest number of households in England and Wales, its residents have the lowest chance of being the victims of a break-in, with one in 94 properties being burgled in 2016. This is more than twice the amount in Yorkshire and Humberside, where one in every 49 properties was burgled.
Number of properties per burglary across England and Wales, 2011 – 2016
|Region||Households per burglary,
|Households per burglary,
|East of England||57||70|
|Yorkshire & Humberside||35||49|
|All England and Wales||47||67|
Martin Scott, head of Churchill home insurance: “It is interesting to see a correlation between the price of houses and the level of crime in an area. However, while house prices can have an impact on the surrounding neighbourhood, it is always wise to be vigilant to the threat of burglary and take steps to ensure that the home’s contents are kept safe.
“While it is encouraging to see that the number of burglaries across England and Wales has fallen in the past five years, the fact remains that the average property has a one in 67 chance of being burgled. This is why it is important to take basic safety precautions, from remembering to double lock the front door to installing a security alarm, and ensuring that the property has comprehensive contents cover in the event that a break-in does occur.”