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Latest Government English housing survey released

Thursday 16 July 2020

The number of households in the private rented sector (PRS) remains unchanged for the sixth year in a row, according to the latest data for 2018-19.

The English Housing Survey (EHS) looks at people's housing circumstances and the condition and energy efficiency of housing. This is the first release of data and it will be followed up with a series of more detailed topic reports in July 2020.

PRS rates remain unchanged

Of the estimated 23.5 million households in England, the proportion of households in the PRS remains unchanged accounting for 4.6 million or 19 per cent of households. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the proportion of private rented households was steady at around 10 per cent. While the sector has doubled in size since 2002, the rate has hovered around 19/20 per cent since 2013-14.

As of May 2020, out of the reported 4.6 million homes in England, ARLA Propertymark members manage 47 per cent of those properties – this equates to 10,219 branches that manage on average 221 properties per branch. As a result, we believe that ARLA Propertymark members manage approximately 2,258,399 properties, equalling almost half of the private rented sector in England.

In comparison to owner-occupiers

There are now almost equal proportions of 25-34-year olds living in the private rented and owner-occupied sectors. In 2018-19, 41 per cent of those aged 25-34 lived in the PRS and a further 41 per cent were owner-occupiers.

Between 2003 and 2014, the proportion of 25-34-year olds in owner-occupation decreased from 59 per cent to 36 per cent. Since then, the proportion of those owner-occupiers has increased to 41 per cent. Meanwhile, the proportion of 25-34-year olds in the PRS declined from its peak at 48 per cent in 2013-14 and is now at 41 per cent.

Over the last decade, the proportion of people aged 55-64 living in the rented sector has increased. In 2018-19, 10 per cent of 55-64-year olds lived in the PRS, which has increased since 2008-2009 where it was 7 per cent.

Overcrowded homes

In the last 20 years, overcrowding has increased in the rented sectors and remains at the highest rate it has ever been in the social rented sector. In 2018-19, the proportion of private renters living in overcrowded accommodation increased from three per cent to six per cent.

The standard of homes

Over the last decade, the proportion of non-decent homes has declined but in 2018, 25 per cent of dwellings in the PRS failed to meet the Decent Homes Standard. This is higher than both social rented and owner-occupied housing.

In 2008, 33 per cent of the rented housing stock was non-decent which has fallen to 18 per cent in 2018. The number of homes with HHSRS Category 1 hazards declined over the past decade but such hazards are more prevalent in the PRS (14 per cent) than owner-occupied housing stock (11 per cent) and the social rented sector (5 per cent) but whilst the PRS had the highest proportion of homes with a Category 1 hazard, there was a notable decrease in the proportion of stock with such hazards, from 31 per cent in 2008, to 14 per cent in 2018.

Energy efficiency

The energy efficiency of English homes has increased considerably over the last 20 years but slowed in recent years. In 2018 there was an improvement in almost all tenures with the proportion of dwellings in the highest SAP energy efficiency rating (EER) bands A to C increasing considerably between 2008 and 2018, from 9 per cent to 34 per cent. Over the same period, the proportion of dwellings in the lowest F and G bands fell from 14 per cent to 4 per cent.

The amount of homes with smart meters has also continued to increase as in 2018, 22 per cent of dwellings with mains electricity had an electricity smart meter and 21 per cent of dwellings with mains gas supply had a gas one.

The Green Homes Scheme

In a recent bid to further improve the energy efficiency of homes in England, the UK Government announced on 10 July that a new £2billion Green Homes Grant is now available for landlords and homeowners to help make their property more energy-efficient.

Under the scheme landlords and homeowners can apply for a voucher to fund at least two-thirds of the cost of hiring tradespeople to upgrade the energy performance of their homes, up to a maximum contribution of £5,000.

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