Which housing characteristics are important for understanding homeownership rates? How are housing characteristics priced in rental and owner-occupied markets? What can answers to these questions tell us about economic theories of homeownership? Using the English Housing Survey, we estimate a selection model of property allocations to the owner-occupied and rental sectors. Structural characteristics and unobserved quality are important for selection. Location is not. Accounting for selection is important for rent-to-price ratio estimates and explains some puzzling correlations between rent-to-price ratios and homeownership rates. These patterns are consistent with, among others, hypotheses of rental market contracting frictions related to housing maintenance.