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Leasehold or Freehold: What Did the UK Prefer?

In the myriad of decisions that property buyers face, one stands out prominently: the choice between leasehold and freehold. The UK's housing market, over the last two years, offers clear insights into this preference. As we delve into the data, an overwhelming trend emerges — the UK's pronounced inclination towards freehold properties.

The Freehold Fascination

Freehold properties come with a promise — the promise of complete ownership. When one opts for a freehold, they're not just buying a property; they're buying the land it stands on. This complete ownership, devoid of ground rents, service charges, or potential leasehold disputes, has made freeholds a preferred choice for many. The numbers, as we'll soon see, echo this sentiment.

Leasehold: A Niche Preference

Leaseholds, on the other hand, come with their own set of advantages. Often associated with flats or apartments in shared buildings, they offer shared maintenance responsibilities. However, the potential complexities, additional costs, and the very nature of not owning the land have made them a niche preference in the market.

By the Numbers: A Clear Freehold Dominance

A look at the sales data from the last two years paints a clear picture. Freehold properties have not just led the race; they've dominated it. With 770,573 freehold properties changing hands, compared to the 241,160 leaseholds, the scale of preference is evident.

Looking Ahead: Is the Trend Here to Stay?

Given the current market dynamics and buyer preferences, it's reasonable to anticipate a continued preference for freehold properties. The allure of complete ownership, combined with the complexities of leaseholds, makes this trend a likely mainstay in the coming years.


When posed with the question — leasehold or freehold — the UK has voiced its choice loud and clear. The overwhelming preference for freehold properties, backed by the sales data from the last two years, offers a clear view of the nation's property aspirations.