Home ownership has fallen to its lowest level since 1985, with just 62.9% of households owning their own homes.
The figure compares with a peak of 71% in 2003, says the English Housing Survey for 2015/2016.
There are also more outright owners than people with mortgages – 34% of total households in England, compared with 29%.
The survey says this is partly explained by the ageing population, with large numbers of baby boomers reaching retirement and paying off their mortgages.
The private rented sector has doubled in size since 2004 and now accounts for over 4.5m households, or 20% of the total.
The proportion of households living in the social rented sector accounts for 3.9m households, or 17% of the total.
The proportion of families with children living in the private rented sector has risen to 36%. In contrast the proportion of families with children living in the social rented sector has dropped to 32%.