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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

New UK Housing Review site is best source of historic housing data


In 2017 the UK Housing Review will celebrate its 25th edition. CIH has launched a new website which puts an unparalleled depth of housing data spanning decades at the touch of a button.

Our senior policy advisor John Perry, who leads on the UK Housing Review, details its significance.

For those who don’t know it, the UK Housing Review is the annual publication that charts in detail the changes in the housing market, government housing policy and investment, social housing, help with housing costs and a host of other topics.

Since 1999 the Review has been published by the Chartered Institute of Housing, and next year will see publication of the 25th edition.

At the time when the Joseph Rowntree Foundation started the Review in 1993, edited then as now by Steve Wilcox, little did it think that it would still be going a quarter-century later. But also it has now developed into the main source of housing data that allows comparisons to be made as far back as the 1970s and also across the UK’s four countries.

In addition to the published Review, which is available from the CIH bookshop, the detailed tables and commentary chapters have long been available on the Review’s own website. This has now been taken over by CIH and brought up to date. This means that 120 compendium tables for 2016 are now accessible and can be downloaded, both as pdf documents and Excel files.

The Review’s consistent approach means that for most of these tables historic versions are also available from the website, often in the same format, which means that it is relatively easy to compare present-day conditions with those of 30-40 years ago. In cases where the basis on which the data have been collected has changed over time, this is explained.

The full scope of the tables can be seen from the main headings:

• Housing, the economy and public expenditure

- Housing and the macro-economy

- Public expenditure

• Dwellings, stock condition and households

- Demand for and provision of dwellings

- Housing conditions

- Tenure profiles and characteristics

• Private housing

- Level of market activity

- Home lending in relation to income and wealth

- Land and house prices

- Mortgage payments, negative equity, arrears and repossessions

- Private renting

• Housing expenditure, investment and rents at UK level and for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

• Housing needs, homelessness, lettings and housing management

• Help with housing costs

- Homeowner taxes and reliefs

- Non-means tested housing subsidies

- Income support for homeowners

- Housing benefit and other assistance

As well as the tables, for each year there are six chapters of commentary and analysis of the data, which provide an excellent snapshot of where we are (or were) on topics as diverse as new house building, homelessness, mortgages and housing-related taxation.

While CIH will continue to sell copies of the main Review – which of course contains more analysis of contemporary issues such as welfare reform and devolution – it remains committed to making the data and commentary chapters available free of charge and in a convenient form on the UK Housing Review website. In addition, for the last five years a UK Housing Review Briefing Paper has also been published each June, and this is also available to download from the website. It was this year’s Briefing Paper which revealed that the true extent of government housing interventions in the period until 2020 will total an astonishing £44 billion, of which only about £2 billion will go towards sub-market rented housing.

Publication of the Review is made possible by generous sponsorship from a range of organisations listed below this article. In addition, it depends on housing organisations themselves buying one or more copies of the main Review – as sales help to pay the Review’s production costs. CIH hopes that you will make full use of the material which is being made freely available on the website, but also consider buying one or more copies – an excellent source of information for every Chief Executive to have on their desk.

Financial support for the Review for 2016 was received from: Affinity Sutton, Crisis, HouseMark, London & Quadrant, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, Orbit Group, the Scottish Government, Southern Housing Group and the Welsh Government.

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