The English Housing Survey is one of the best and most comprehensive surveys on the state of the housing market (by which I mean not house prices but trends in occupation, number of homes and so on). It was almost shut down as part of the austerity drive, but has been safeguarded now, so, as one of the taxpayers who funds it, I’d thoroughly recommend you check it out [pdf].
A couple of interesting nuggets from it.
- Home ownership has risen meaningfully
This latest year (2014/15) saw the biggest increase in owner-occupation since 2003, the year the proportion of owner-occupiers peaked. This brings to an end a long period of decreases in the proportion of English households who own their own property. So is this the end of the housing crisis?
Perhaps not, if the reaction of some analysts is to be believed. For instance:
— Kate Webb (@KateBWebb) February 18, 2016
It looks like last year’s EHS had sampling issues. Here’s what the tenure trend looks like if you ignore last year pic.twitter.com/rztDRodcoo
— Neal Hudson (@resi_analyst) February 18, 2016
2. Under-occupation continues to rise among homeowners
A second concern some have had about the housing market is a growing gap between households where the residents have oodles of space and those where people are essentially overcrowded. Or, to put it another way, that the problem in Britain is not that there are two few properties, but that they aren’t spread fairly among the population. The latest survey seems to reinforce these concerns:
Anyway, do check out the report.