English Housing Survey results | Facts and figures from Content Coms

English Housing Survey results: Key facts and figures from Content Coms


The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) 2015-6 England Housing Survey is out, revealing people’s housing circumstances and the condition and energy efficiency of housing.

Content Coms has put together a brief outline of some of the key facts, figures and stats:

Owner occupation rates remain unchanged for the third year in a row

Of the estimated 22.8 million households in England, 14.3 million or 63% were owner occupiers. Of these:

  • 14.8 million (63%) were owner occupied
  • 4.7 million (20%) were private rented
  • 1.7 million (7%) were local authority
  • 2.4 million (10%) were housing association homes

The proportion of households in owner occupation increased steadily from the 1980s to 2003 when it reached its peak of 71%. Since then, owner occupation gradually declined to its current level.

However, the rate of owner occupation has not changed since 2013-14; since then there have been more outright owners than mortgagors (partly explained by population ageing).

Private rented sector larger than social sector

  • In 2015-16, the private rented sector accounted for 4.5 million or 20% of households
  • The social rented sector accounted for 3.9 million households or 17% of households
  • There was no change in the size of either sector between 2014-15 and 2015-16

While younger people have always been overrepresented in the private rented sector, over the last decade the increase in the proportion of younger households in the private rented sector has been particularly pronounced:

  • In 2005-06, 24% of those aged 25-34 lived in the private rented sector
  • By 2015- 16 this had increased to 46%

Over the same period, the proportion of 25-34 year olds buying with a mortgage decreased from 53% to 35%. In other words, households with a HRP aged 25-34 are more likely to be renting privately than buying their own home, a continuation of a trend first identified in 2012-13. Over the same 10 year period, rates of younger households in the social rented sector also declined, from 20% to 16%.

First time buyers

In 2015-16, there were around 654,000 first time buyers in England. That is, buyers who had bought for the first time in the last three years, up from about 564,000 in 2014-15. While numbers have fluctuated over last decade, the number of first time buyers in 2015-16 was roughly the same as the number in 2005-06 (675,000).

  • In 2015-16, the average age of first time buyers was 32 years, up from 31 in 2005-06
  • Nearly two thirds (64%) of first time buyers were aged 25-34
  • Just 8% were younger than this (aged 16-24)
  • While 29% were older (aged 35+)

House condition

Decent homes In 2015, a fifth of dwellings (19% or 4.6 million homes) failed to meet the Decent Homes Standard, a reduction of 3.1 million homes since 2006, when 35% of homes failed to meet the Decent Homes Standard.

  • The private rented sector had the highest proportion of non-decent homes (28%)
  • While the social rented sector had the lowest (13%)
  • Among owner occupied homes 18% failed to meet the Decent Homes Standard in 2015

Across all tenures, the proportion of non-decent homes declined steadily between 2006 and 2015, with year-on-year improvements each year until 2014. No such decline was observed between 2014 and 2015.

The energy efficiency of the English housing stock has increased and in 2015 the average SAP rating of English dwellings was 62 points, up from 45 points in 1996.

The increase since 1996 was evident in all tenures. The proportion of dwellings with the highest energy efficiency rating has increased considerably in the last 10 years, particularly in the social rented sector.

  • In 2015, 28% of dwellings had an energy efficiency rating of A-C, up from just 5% of dwellings in 2005
  • Almost half (48%) of dwellings in the social rented sector had an energy efficiency rating of A-C
  • Compared with 26% in the private rented sector and • 24% of owner occupied homes.

Content Coms is one of the UK’s leading B2B communications consultancies specialising in the buildings, energy, and technology sectors. If you’ve enjoyed our article, how about reading more of our news and analysis?


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