Efficiency costs rising and high-scoring happiness levels amongst owner occupiers were the key trends in the latest English Housing Survey 2019-2020.

The most recent English Housing Survey 2019-2020 has been released today, giving an insight into people’s housing circumstances and the condition and energy efficiency of housing in England. Here we look at the five stand out takeaways from the survey.

1. Happy homeowners

With renewed attitudes towards mental health and well-being, many people are rethinking how they use their space and what needs they require from their property.

Respondents were asked to rate their well-being associated with tenure, and on the whole, owner occupiers had higher average well-being scores (life satisfaction 7.9, life worthwhile 8.1, happiness 7.8) – and lower anxiety scores (2.5) – than those in private rented and social rented accommodation.

2. Staying put

Most renters had not considered applying for a mortgage in the past year, but of those who had applied, most had their mortgage application accepted.

In 2019-20, more private renters (19%) than social renters (7%) had considered applying for a mortgage in the past year. However, most private (81%) and social renters (93%) had not considered applying for a mortgage.

3. Efficiency costs adding up

Over 10 million owner occupied dwellings have an energy efficiency rating of band D or below. There is a significant cost to improving dwellings to a band C energy efficiency rating, with the survey showing 3.2 million homes (34%) would cost £10,000 or more to improve to at least band C, including 1.1 million homes that would require £15,000 or more.

Decarbonising domestic heating is part of a larger operation to reduce net carbon emissions to zero. Households and landlords will end up paying a hefty price in order to improve the Energy Performance Certificate rating.

4. Renters reeling

The survey shows a clear discrepancy between owner occupied homes and private rented homes, with the costs in the latter category, to make non-decent homes decent, averaging £7,912.

Owner occupied homes were more likely to be non-decent than those in the social rented sector (12%), but less likely to be non-decent than homes in the private rented sector (23%).

5. Different strokes

Unsurprisingly, differing ambitions and needs between age groups influenced moving behaviour, according to the study. Younger age groups were largely looking for bigger properties and older age groups were largely looking to downsize.

A higher proportion (71%) of those aged 25 to 34 wanted to move to a larger home than the other age groups, whilst a higher proportion of those aged 65 to 74 (40%) said they wanted to move to a smaller home than those aged 45 to 64.

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