Misconceptions about housing: These five charts show how wrong we are about rent, house prices and deposits

Clara Guibourg
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How much do these houses cost? (Source: Getty)

Hot on the heels of the Ipsos Mori poll showing that most of us have no idea how much raising children, buying a house, or paying for education cost, the research institute has dug deeper into our insights on housing - and it turns out we’re pretty far off.

Just over three quarters of British adults agree there is a housing crisis - but the poll’s results suggest we don’t quite grasp some of the key features of it.

1. We think rent is lower than it really is

A case of wishful thinking perhaps. The public believes average rent is £600, but unfortunately the real figure is £761. Londoners guess the average rent in the capital is £1,000, some way off the real figure of £1,166.

2. We don’t know how much house prices are rising

According to Ipsos Mori, we underestimated how much house prices rose over the past 12 months by a factor of four.

3. Londoners completely overestimate the average UK house price

Here’s a figure that reflects the high prices in the capital: While most of the UK has a good idea of how much the average house price is, Londoners overestimate it by 54 per cent.

4. We have no clue how much the average deposit for a house is

Finally, as Ipsos-Mori pointed out last week, we're terrible at estimating how we put down to buy a house. The average guess was less than a third of the correct answer, and only 1 per cent correctly guessed a figure between £70,000-79,000.

5. We overestimate the scale of social housing

English adults think that 39 per cent of their contemporaries live in social housing, but the real figure is less than half of that.

Part of the reason for our confusion is faulty information, but there’s also a psychological factor at play, suggests Ipsos Mori’s Ben Marshall:

Some explanation is likely to be found in our "emotional innumeracy"; our inaccuracies are shaped by what is worrying us – we believe what we want to.

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