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Higher house prices mean fewer burglaries, insurance firm claims

New analysis shows what appears to be the correlation between rising house prices and falling burglary rates across the country. 

The research, by Churchill Home Insurance, claims to show 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 10 regions in England and Wales, house prices as reported by the Land Registry rose from an average of £199,493 in 2011 to £274,228 last year - an increase of nearly £75,000, or 37 per cent.

Over the same time frame, the number of burglaries taken from the official source - UK Crime Stats - has fallen by 28 per cent, dropping from over 500,000 five years ago to 360,000 in 2016, a drop of 140,000.

Homeowners in London, having already been boosted by average increases in house prices of 58 per cent, from £331,210 in 2011 to £523,968 last year, have also seen burglary rates plummet by 64 per cent 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 per cent and burglary rates fall by 27 per cent 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 according to the Office for National Statistics.

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.

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