Housing is one of the government’s key priorities. Explore the changes in the housing market in England and build a richer understanding of what they mean for different parts of the country.
January 4, 2017
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Introduction to the topic
Housing is one of the government’s key priorities. For many people, the availability and affordability of housing has become increasingly difficult in recent years. The interactive visualisations below describes changes in the housing market in England for individual local areas. You can use them to explore the broad trends identified by our report Housing in England: overview and build a richer understanding of what they mean for different parts of the country.
How to use the visualisations
- All the graphics are interactive:
- Hovering over the maps and charts gives you more detailed information.
- If you click on an area on the map, or the name of an area on the list, the data presented will be for that area only.
- Clicking on a category in any of the charts will show only information the category applies to. For example, if you select Terraced homes in Figure 1.3 then the other charts will show information for terraced homes as well.
- To go back to where you started you can either click:
- The category or the area you used as a filter
- Reset in the bottom left corner, or
- Undo at the top of the screen.
- Hold ‘Ctrl’ (Apple ⌘) to select multiple items and compare
There are substantial differences between different parts of the country in the prices paid for private homes. For example, prices of semi-detached homes in London and parts of the south east can be three times higher than in parts of Yorkshire and the Humber, the north east and north west. In recent years the gap has widened: in 2002 a semi-detached house in London cost 117% more than the median price for England; by 2015 this had risen to 153%.
Use the Year arrow to see how prices have changed across the country, or a region, over time. Click on one of the types of property to see where that type of property is most and least expensive.
The number of homes sold in England decreased by nearly half in the wake of the financial crisis in 2008. Housing market activity only started to recover after three or four years. In most parts of the country the number of homes on the market is still well below what was common a decade ago even though prices have recovered from the falls in 2008. The lack of properties for purchase can discourage existing home owners from putting their homes on the market and that in turn means there are fewer opportunities for people looking to buy their first home or to move elsewhere.
It is clear that the population of England has been increasing in recent years and this means that the number of households should also increase. In some parts of the country, for example in London and parts of the south east, the number of new homes is much lower than the number of new households, according to official projections.
It is hard to be precise about local demand for new housing. Every 10 years the Census provides detailed numbers about households and the last Census was in 2011. Official projections attempt to show what happens between each Census and how many households there will be in the future. The numbers of households from 2012 onwards are based on assumptions economic growth, migration, debt levels and/or welfare entitlements. The actual number of households, and hence housing requirements, will be lower or higher than projected if there are substantial differences between these assumptions and what actually happens.
Choose an area and see how the change in dwellings in the area compares with the change in the projected number of households. Each local area has its own distinctive housing conditions that will make it easier or harder for local people to find housing that is suitable for them.
Even if the number of additional dwellings matches the change in households there may be problems in an area. Typically around 2 per cent of homes are either vacant or used as second homes. As a result the number of homes needs to be higher than the number of households if there is to be a balance. Some families share homes with other families, and are therefore ‘concealed’ households. Other households live in homes that have fewer bedrooms than would be expected based on the people living there.