"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"
New analysis from Churchill Home Insurance reveals the correlation between rising house prices and falling burglary rates across the country.
The insurer’s analysis shows that there is 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.
Across the ten 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 time frame, the number of burglaries has fallen by over a quarter, dropping from over 500,000 five years ago to 360,000 in 2016 – a fall of 140,000.
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 five per cent increase coupled with a four per cent rise in property prices.
Churchill’s analysis also reveals that while the number of burglaries in England and Wales has fallen significantly in recent years, households are still under threat from intruders, as 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.
Martin Scott, head of Churchill home insurance said: “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.”
Top tips for protecting your property:
1. Ensure any security features which allow you to track your phone or tablet are turned on as this will help police locate your device should it be stolen. If you are burgled, also call your contract provider immediately and have the line and phone blocked
2. If you have a security alarm, use it and keep it clean so it looks like it is used and serviced regularly. Burglars will be able to tell if the alarm is not in use
3. The best burglary deterrent is for the home to be occupied, so if you are away ask neighbours to pop around, leave a light on or invest in timed lights. Don’t make it obvious that no one is home
4. Think like a burglar and see where the best points of entry to your home are. Make sure all windows and doors are locked when you are out
5. Try not to leave packaging for new expensive goods outside your home. It is better to take it to a public recycling centre, as it can attract burglars. Do not leave expensive, portable items like tablets or laptops in clear view
6. If you keep power tools, golf clubs or garden equipment in an outbuilding or shed, make sure the shed is locked and/or has security features such as an alarm or security light