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Revealed: The impact of burglary rates on the price of your home

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

There is a marked correlation between burglary rates and house prices, and it’s not what you’d expect

You might assume that as house prices in an area rise, the number of burglaries goes up too, as criminals see rich pickings in a posher postcode.

In fact, the opposite is true, according to research from Churchill. The insurer found that as house prices in an area rise, the burglary rate falls.

Across the 10 regions in England and Wales, house prices rose from an average of £199,493 in 2011 to £274,228 last year – an increase of nearly £75,000, or 37%. Over the same period, the number of burglaries has fallen by over a quarter (28%), dropping from over 500,000 five years ago to 360,000 in 2016.

Churchill noted a direct correlation between property values and crime levels, with the counties experiencing the sharpest rise in property prices also likely to experience the biggest decrease in reported burglaries.

London crime falling

Homeowners in London, having already been boosted by average increases in house prices of 58%, from £331,210 in 2011 to £523,968 last year, have also seen burglary rates plummet 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 small 4% rise in property prices.

Martin Scott, head of Churchill home insurance, said: “While it is encouraging to see that the number of burglaries across England and Wales has fallen in the past five years, 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.”