Back in 1967 the UK government published the first English Housing Survey, a continuous national survey collecting information about people’s housing circumstances and the condition of housing in England. In the 50+ years since, the survey has proved invaluable at giving us an insight into just how much the housing situation in England has changed. In this blog we take a look at some of the key differences in the data collected over the years.
Most homes from 50 years ago are still part of today’s housing stock
Amazingly, around 97% of the homes in England from 1967 are estimated to still be part of today’s housing market. This is because the housing policy of post-World War II Britain was to clear low-quality housing and rebuild, but since the first UK Housing survey in 1967, more focus has been put on improving existing homes. Over half of homes built before 1965 are thought to have had major improvement works.
Almost all houses now have basic amenities
It is hard to imagine but even as recently as 1967, 25% of houses were recorded to be lacking in one or more basic amenities. The included, a bath or shower, indoor toilet, wash basin, and hot or cold water at three different points. By the time the English Housing Survey came to record this number in 1991, it was less than 1%, and now it is too low to even be considered significant.
Houses are generally more energy efficient
Although the first English Housing Survey did not record information on energy efficiency, other data sources suggest that barely any homes had insulation at the time. Since the data has been collected, it has shown that houses have become more energy efficient over the last 20 years. The most recent survey put the Average Energy Rating for English houses at 62 points, in comparison to 45 points, recorded in the 1996 survey.
Owner occupation rates peaked in 2003
In the first survey around half of English housing stock was occupied by the owner. In comparison, the latest survey has owner occupation at 64%. Although this seems like a significant increase, it is actually some way off the peak figure of 71% achieved in 2003. Post-2003 the figure has been decreasing, although it had remained steady since 2013-14.
The number of socially rented houses has declined
The socially rented sector is currently the smallest at 17% in the most recent survey. This is after many years of steady decline down from 29% when the first survey was carried out. The last decade has seen the figures stabilise somewhat, however, the proportion of social renters who expect to buy has declined in this period.