English Housing Survey 2016-17

This report is split into two sections. The first, on households, covers tenure (owner occupation and the social and private rented sectors) and the demographic and economic characteristics of the people who live in the three tenures. It then explores how affordability varies between tenures and how this has changed over time, buying expectations among renters, average rental costs in the private and social rented sectors and the extent to which private and social renters claim Housing Benefit to help meet the cost of their rent. Rates of overcrowding and under-occupation by tenure are then examined, followed by analysis of personal well-being and the extent to which this varies by tenure.

The second section, on homes, provides an overview of the housing stock in England including: the age, size, and type of home; energy efficiency of the housing stock; decent homes; homes affected by damp and mould; and smoke alarms. Additional annex tables provide further detail to that covered in the main body of the report.

Main findings:

Owner occupation rates remain unchanged for the fourth year in a row.

While the overall rate of owner occupation has not changed in recent years, the composition of the group has: there are more outright owners while the proportion of those buying with a mortgage is down.

Over the last decade, the drop in the proportion of 25-34 and 35-44 year olds in owner occupation has been particularly pronounced.

The private rented sector remains larger than the social rented sector, and is now the most prevalent tenure in London.

The composition of the social sector has changed in recent years, with more households renting from housing associations than local authorities; although this is not the case in London.

The proportion of social renters who expect to buy has continued to increase. No such increase was observed among private renters.

Rates of overcrowding did not change but remained higher in the rented sectors.

Meanwhile, about half of owner occupied households are under-occupied.

The energy efficiency of English homes has increased considerably in the last 20 years, but did not increase between 2015 and 2016.

The number of dwellings with smart meters has increased.

The number of homes with working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms has also increased.

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