UK Social Housing and Housing Market in England: A Statistical Review and Trends

  • Received : 2014.06.09
  • Accepted : 2014.07.28
  • Published : 2014.07.30


Around 80% of the 63 million people in the UK live in urban areas where demand for affordable housing is highest. Supply of new dwellings is a long way short of demand and with an average annual replacement rate of 0.5% more than 80% of the existing residential housing stock will still be in use by 2050. A high proportion of owner-occupiers, a weak private rental sector and lack of sustainable financing models render England's housing market one of the least responsive in the developed world. As an exploratory research the purpose of this paper is to examine the provision of social housing in the United Kingdom with a particular focus on England, and to set out implications for housing associations delivering sustainable community development. The paper is based on an analysis of historical data series (Census data), current macro-economic data and population projections to 2033. The paper identifies a chronic undersupply of affordable housing in England which is likely to be exacerbated by demographic development, changes in household composition and reduced availability of finance to develop new homes. Based on the housing market trends analysed in this paper opportunities are identified for policy makers to remove barriers to the delivery of new affordable homes and for social housing providers to evolve their business models by taking a wider role in sustainable community development.


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