Household-related thefts were the only offences to increase in the last year, according to the British Crime Survey (BCS), which estimated a house is now broken into at a rate of more than one a minute.
Shed break-ins have also risen 171,000 in 12 months.
One neighbourhood watch leader warned offences, especially shed thefts, are likely to rise further as the weather improves.
Separate police recorded crime show sex offences increased by seven per cent sparking fears changing lifestyles and binge-drinking is fueling more sexual assaults.
For all other offences, the Home Office figures showed a fall in overall crime but one victims group warned against complacency.
Police have previously warned that the fall out of the economic downturn could see a rise in so-called acquisitive crime.
While the recession crime-wave never materialised, the latest figures suggest criminals are shifting their focus to homes and property.
Burglaries increased by nine per cent to 710,000 offences in the 12 months to September, according to BCS, which questions more than 45,000 people. That is the equivalent of more than one a minute.
Thefts from sheds and gardens increased by 16 per cent to 1.25 million crimes over the same period and bicycle thefts increased three per cent.
The separate police recorded crime showed a seven per cent fall in burglary for the same year but Roy Rudham, the chairman of the UK Neighborhood Watch Trust, said the BCS was more reflective of the true picture because people tend to only report crimes if they are going to claim on the insurance.
He added: “It is a cause for concern and is it worrying that people do not have the confidence to report to the police.”
Total BCS crime fell by less than one per cent while overall police recorded crime was down five per cent to 9.4 million offences.
All categories of recorded crime were down except sexual offences, which increased by seven per cent to 5,169.
Officials said the rise could be due to better action by the police to combat the known high levels of under-reporting of such offences.
But David Green, director of the think-tank Civitas, said changes in people’s behaviour, such as increasing alcohol consumption could also be driving up sexual offending.
Chief Constable Keith Bristow, head of crime for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said: “Nationally, we have been working to improve all areas of sex offence investigation, with a particular emphasis on rape in domestic abuse cases.”
“We remain determined to bring to justice people who commit sexual offences and we are making significant progress in this critical area, particularly around giving victims confidence to come forward and report these crimes and we need them to do so.”
Separate figures showed the number of homicides, which includes murder, manslaughter and infanticide, fell by four per cent to 619 in the year to the end of April 2010, the lowest number since 1997/98 when 606 were recorded.
A third of fatalities involved a sharp instrument, with the number of such offences falling from 255 in 2008/09 to 210 in 2009/10.
But the number of homicides from shootings rose to 41 from 38 the previous year.
Javed Khan, chief executive of Victim Support, warned against complacency, adding: “Over 50 per cent of crime still goes unreported and one in five is still at risk of being a victim of crime.
“Added to this, you have crime against individuals and households costing a massive £34 billion a year.”
Theresa May, the Home Secretary, said: “Any reductions in crime are welcome, however levels are still too high and we know these statistics only offer a partial picture about the level of crime.”