Housing & Environmental quality
- Age of housing stock in Great Britain, 2005
- Average energy efficiency (SAP) ratings, 1996-2006
- Average domestic energy consumption per household (GJ) in the UK, 1991-2005
- Average dwelling heat loss (W/ °C) in the UK, 1991-2005
- Homes with central heating in the UK, 1991-2005
- Percentage of non-decent housing in England, 1996-2007
- Unfit housing across all tenures in Wales, 1986-2004
- Reasons for failing Scottish Housing Quality Standard in Scotland, 2002-2007
- Unfit housing standards in Northern Ireland, 1991-2009
Age of housing stock in Great Britain, 2005
This graph shows the distribution of housing stock by age in Great Britain in 2005.
The age of the housing stock is useful for understanding historical periods of high housing development as well as the potential need for housing redevelopment and maintenance. Figures for country-specific breakdowns are only available up to 2005.
Across all three countries, between 40% and 50% of all housing stock has been built since the 1960s and overall the stock is dominated by housing built since 1976. In England this comprised 23.4% of all stock, with stock built between 1960-75 comprising the second greatest proportion of the total at 22.8%.
The housing stock in Wales built since 1976 forms 26.2% of total provision. However the second most common form of stock was built pre-1918 (24.8%).
In Scotland 30.1% of stock has been built since 1976. Scotland has the smallest proportion of stock built in the interwar period of 1918-38 (8.3%).
Source: BRE, 2007
Average energy efficiency (SAP) ratings, 1996-2006
This graph displays the average energy ratings – or Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) ratings – for homes in England and Northern Ireland between 1996 and 2006.
The SAP is based on the costs of heating, ventilation and lighting. It is used to generate an energy rating of homes on a scale of 1 to 100 – the higher the number, the greater the predicted energy efficiency.
Average SAP ratings in both England and Northern Ireland have steadily improved over a ten-year period, with improvements from just above 40 in 1996 to 48.7 in England and 52.5 in Northern Ireland in 2006.
Source: UK Housing Review, 2008: 111, 114
Average domestic energy consumption per household (GJ) in the UK, 1991-2005
This graph shows average annual domestic energy consumption per household in gigajoules (GJ) in the UK between 1991 and 2005 (most recent data by country is only available to 2005).
Domestic energy consumption offers a broad indication of energy efficiency. However, the data must be treated with caution as energy consumption is also affected by the severity of weather conditions in any given year. Figures for country-specific breakdowns are only available up to 2005.
Domestic energy consumption per household has decreased gradually in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland since 1991. Average annual consumption in England reached its highest level in 1996 at 85.6 GJ per household, while Scotland reached its highest level in 2001 at 85.6 GJ. Energy consumption in England and Scotland in 2005 stood at 78 GJ and 65.4 GJ per household respectively. Northern Ireland reached its highest level in 1993 at 106.6 GJ and its lowest level in 2005 at 82.1 GJ.
Wales is the only country to see its domestic energy consumption increase between the start and end points of the study period. In 1991 its energy consumption per household stood at 80.1 GJ compared to 82.5 GJ in 2005.
Source: BRE, 2007
Average dwelling heat loss (W/ °C) in the UK, 1991-2005
Average annual dwelling heat loss, measured by watt per celcius degree (W/ °C), is shown in this graph for the 1991 to 2005 period (most recent data by country is only available to 2005). Average dwelling heat loss is an indicator of housing energy efficiency. Figures for country-specific breakdowns are only available up to 2005.
All three countries of Great Britain have seen their average dwelling heat loss levels decrease between 1991 and 2005. In 1991 average dwelling heat loss was 288.7 W °C per dwelling in England, 294.0 W/°C in Wales and 276.4 in Scotland. By 2005, the three countries had reached their lowest average levels of heat loss, with the average falling to 257.8/W °C in England, 267.7 in Wales and 238.1 in Scotland.
Source: BRE, 2007
Homes with central heating in the UK, 1991-2005
The percentage of homes with central heating demonstrates the changing environmental quality of UK homes over time. Figures for country-specific breakdowns are only available up to 2005.
There has been a gradual increase in the percentage of homes with central heating across all countries of the UK between 1991 and 2005. Between 1991 and 2005 the percentage of homes with central heating rose from 82% to 91.5% in England, from 84% to 89.8% in Wales and from 78.7% to 93.3% in Scotland.
Data for Northern Ireland is only available for 1991, 2001 and 2004. Across this time period, Northern Ireland saw its percentage of homes with central heating rise from 82.9% in 1991 to 96.6% in 2001 and finally reach 98.4% in 2004, the highest level across the UK.
Source: BRE, 2007
Percentage of non-decent housing in England, 1996-2007
This graph shows the percentage of non-decent housing in England between 1996 and 2007 by tenure. The Decent Homes (unfitness-based) standard was used to assess performance from 1996 to 2004 while the Decent Homes (Housing, Health and Safety Rating System [HHSRS] based) standard was used from 2006 to 2007, thus the figures are not directly comparable over time.
The Government made a commitment to ensure all social housing reached a decent standard by 2010 and to increase the proportion of decent private sector housing occupied by vulnerable groups.
Non-decent homes are deemed:
• not to meet the Fitness Standard (from April 2006 this was replaced by the HHSRS);
• not to be in a reasonable state of repair;
• not to have reasonably modern facilities and services; or
• not to provide a reasonable degree of thermal comfort.
Between 1996 and 2004 the social housing sector saw dramatic decreases in the percentage of non-decent homes, dropping from 52.6% in 1996 to 31.3% in 2004. During the same time period, the private sector also saw a decrease from 42.6% to 28.7%.
After the HHSRS Decent Homes standard was introduced, the percentage of non-decent homes in the private sector increased to 36.3% in 2006 followed by a slight decrease in 2007 to 35.8%. Despite the change in standards, the percentage of non-decent homes in the social housing sector continued to decrease, falling to 29% in 2006, although with a small rise to 29.2% in 2007.
Source: UK Housing Review, 2009: 122
Unfit housing across all tenures in Wales, 1986-2004
This graph shows the percentage of unfit housing across all tenures in Wales. Unfitness data in Wales is based on periodic survey data. The most recent data is from 2004.
Unfitness is measured against eleven factors (disrepair, dampness, structural stability, food preparation, heating, lighting, WC, bath/shower/wash basin, ventilation, drainage, water supply). A dwelling is defined as unfit if it fails to meet a satisfactory standard for any individual factor.
Between 1986 and 2004, Wales has seen a dramatic decrease in the percentage of unfit homes, falling from a peak of 19.5% in 1986 to 4.8% in 2004. In 2001 the Welsh National Assembly approved the National Housing Strategy for Wales, which was followed by the introduction of the Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS). The WHQS sets a target of 2012 for all local authorities and social landlords in Wales to bring their housing up to the standard. While this target only applies to social housing it is intended to set a general standard of housing quality for all homes in Wales.
Source: UK Housing Review 2009: 124
Reasons for failing Scottish Housing Quality Standard in Scotland, 2002-2007
The reason for homes failing to meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS) between 2002 and 2007 is shown in this graph for both private and social housing sectors.
The SHQS is a useful indicator of the state of the housing stock within Scotland. In 2004 the Government introduced a Decent Homes Standard derived from the SHQS for Scotland and set a target date of 2015 for local authorities and registered social landlords to achieve the standard. This target only applies to social housing.
Both private and social housing sectors in Scotland have seen improvements, with reductions in the number of SHQS failures between 2002 and 2007. These fell from 77% to 72% in all private sector housing (rented and owner-occupied) and 77% to 68% in the social rented sector (local authority and registered social landlords) over this five-year period.
The most common reason for failing the SHQS in both years and for both tenure types was energy inefficiency. In 2007 58% of private housing was deemed to be energy inefficient compared to 52% of social housing.
While energy efficiency appears to have improved between 2002 and 2007, there has been an increase in homes that lack modern facilities and services (4% increase in private housing and 8% increase in social housing) as well as those deemed not healthy, safe and secure (3% increase in private housing and 4% increase in social housing).
Source: UK Housing Review 2009: 125
Unfit housing standards in Northern Ireland, 1991-2009
This graph shows the percentage of homes deemed to be unfit or lacking one or more basic amenities in Northern Ireland between 1991 and 2009.
The fitness criteria cover nine items: repair, stability, freedom from damp, internal arrangement, natural light, ventilation, water supply, drainage and sanitation, and facilities for the preparation and cooking of food. An inspector has to assess – on the basis of these nine 'matters' – whether the dwelling is so defective that it is unsuitable for occupation. Data on the percentage of dwellings lacking one or more basic amenities is not available for 2006 or 2009. Basic amenities include the lack of a bathroom, kitchen, inside WC, cold or hot water supply, electricity or adequate heating given the needs of the family
Between 1991 and 2009 there was a substantial decrease in the percentage of unfit dwellings in Northern Ireland, from 8.8% in 1991 to 2.4% in 2009. For the period in which data is available, a decline in the percentage of dwellings lacking one or more basic amenities also occurred, decreasing from 3.3% in 1991 to 2.4% in 2001.
Source: UK Housing Review 2009: 126; 2009 House Condition Survey Preliminary Findings: 6