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English Housing Survey: what the data tells us

Posted on 2015-05-11

The 2013-2014 English Housing Survey has revealed more positive growth for the Private Rented Sector. The annual survey, published by the Department for Communities and Local Government, is a national survey of housing circumstances, as well the condition and energy efficiency of housing in England. Below, we will look at the results of the survey and how they show the changes to housing circumstances in England.

What does the data tell us?

The private rented sector is largest growing tenure type

The results of the survey revealed that 4.4 million households in the UK are now privately rented, which is 19% of all households. This is an increase from 18% the year previous, and represents a large rise from the 2004 figure from a decade ago, where only 11% were privately rented.

In spite of the rise in the number of privately rented homes, the number of households socially renting remained almost identical at 17%, which is a figure of 3.9 million households.

The owner occupied sector remained the largest tenure

The English Housing Survey data revealed that although the owner occupied sector remained the largest tenure, the number of people who owned their own home outright was larger than the number of people who owned with a mortgage for the first time.

Of England’s 22.6 million households, 63% (14.3 million) were owner occupied. Of these, 33% (7.4 million) were owned outright, while 31% (6.9 million) had a mortgage.

Young households were more likely to be renting a home than buying their own

The survey found almost half (48%) 25 to 34 year olds, rented privately, a 3% increase from the year prior. This means that the number of renters in this age group has more than doubled since 2004, where it stood at 21%. Over the same period, owner occupation among those aged 25-34 dropped from 59% to 36%.

This finding aligns with our own study on who was renting in 2014, it also appears to suggest that ‘generation rent’ is here to stay.

English housing stock is becoming more energy efficient

Back in 1996, the number of dwellings in the A to C energy efficient bracket stood at a mere 2%. In the latest study, this has risen to 23%, representing almost a quarter of all dwellings. This figure’s true of the private rented sector as a standalone tenure. The research indicates that this is likely to be higher than owner occupied dwellings (18%) due to many properties in the PRS being flats, and therefore more energy efficient than the average property.

In addition, since 2001, the number of homes with condensing boilers now stands at 49% (11.3 million dwellings), a large increase from 2% back in 2001. In the private rented sector however, 17% of dwellings still occupy a standard boiler (deemed to be much less energy efficient) which is relatively high when compared with 12% of social sector properties. According to the West London Energy Assessors website, social housing can often be up to 25% more energy efficient than property in the private rented sector. This is likely due to common Housing Association targets to improve performance ratings through modifications.

There are many more headlines to be found within the English Housing survey, so if you’re interested, take a look for yourself, you can find it here.

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