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English Housing Survey shows overview of the housing market


Published: 29 July 2014 | Author: Bernard Clarke

The Government has released the full findings of this year’s English Housing Survey which shows housing market characteristics in 2012-13. The report has been published annually since 2008 and surveys over 13,000 households to create an overview of the market.

Key findings within the report show that, of the estimated 22 million households in England, 65% are owner-occupied, 18% private rented and 17% socially rented. In 2012-13, private renting overtook the social rented sector for the first time, to become the second largest tenure in England.

The standard of homes has generally improved in England. The number of non-decent homes has declined by 2.8m homes since 2006 to 4.9m (or 22%) of homes failing to meet a decent home standard.

In 2012-13, of the 14.3 million households that were owner-occupiers, there was an even split with 7.2 million having a mortgage and 7.2 million owning the property outright. This is the first time as many people own their property outright as have a mortgage since the report began in 2008. Owner-occupiers with a mortgage spent on average 20% of their income, with those borrowing in the last five years paying an average of £187 per week on the mortgage. Those that had a mortgage running longer than 5 years paid £133 on average a week.

Satisfaction levels among owner-occupiers remain highest with 95% of owner occupiers said that they were either very or fairly satisfied with their accommodation and a similar level for the area in which they live, compared to 81% of social renters and 84% of private renters who were very or fairly satisfied with their living standards.

Age demographics captured via the survey reinforce that more young people are opting for renting than home ownership. The majority of mortgage holders (64%) are 35-54 years old, whereas the 16-34 age group accounts for 18%, which was down from 21% in this age bracket in 2008-09. By contrast, 45% of private renters are now in the 25-34 age range, compared to 31% in 2008-09. Renting remains proportionately more expensive with private renters spending 40% of their income on average, double the percentage of income mortgage holders pay, but mortgage owners tend to have a higher household income (and, of course maintenance costs on the property).

73% of private renters are under 45 years old, but 61% of all private renters stated they expected to buy a property at some point in the future. The majority of first-time buyers were in the 25-34 age range accounting for 57%, while the youngest 16-24 age bracket accounted for 12%, and 25% were aged 35-44.

On the social rented side, two-thirds waited less than a year to be allocated a home, and fewer than one in ten waited over 5 years. 23% of social renters expected to buy a property at some point in the future and, among social renters who expected to buy, those that expected to buy their current home increased from 37% in 2011-12 to 44% in 2012-13.

The full report can be read here.