Housing and the local environment

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Use Discover to retrieve a list of housing-related studies

Key data

Whilst there is a wealth of data on housing and the local environment, a number of studies are regarded as 'key' – either through their subject/geographical coverage, their use of standard measures, their longevity, their usage among the research community or because they are used to create 'official' figures.

The majority of the data described are known as 'raw', 'primary' or 'source' data in the sense that they represent information that has been collected 'first-hand'; they are original data sources which may then be used for 'secondary' analysis by researchers not involved in the data collection process. The majority of these data are anonymised because they describe the attitudes, behaviour, circumstances and personal details of the individuals being studied. These types of data are heavily used by the academic and government research communities.

Each of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has a national housing and/or house condition survey which provide information about housing and house conditions in each of those countries. Topics commonly covered by these surveys include:

  • housing tenure
  • heating
  • parking
  • market valuations
  • household composition
  • demographic variables

Some of these surveys also ask questions about the local area or the respondents’ opinions of their neighbourhood. Types of topics covered include:

  • level of satisfaction with the local area
  • safety, crime and opinions about crime and anti-social behaviour in the area
  • accessibility of and satisfaction with local facilities such as shops, doctors and public transport
  • community belonging and trust
  • mix of people
  • political and local decision making
  • the local housing market

The UK Data Service provides access to the following primary data sources:

Study name Coverage Topics
Banking on Housing; Spending the Home, 2004-2007 2004-2007
England
housing wealth
mortgage equity withdrawal
owner-occupiers
consumption
British Household Panel Survey United Kingdom
1991-2009
noise pollution
access to public services
neighbourhood perceptions
housing facilities
house prices
Census aggregate data 1971, 1981, 1991, 2001, 2011: England, Wales, and Scotland
1991, 2001, 2011: Northern Ireland
Data available at many geographical levels (e.g. county, district, ward, output area). Availability of topics and categories vary by census, country and geographical level
communal establishments
accommodation type
tenure
dwelling type
central heating
car or van availability
lowest floor level
household size
number of rooms
Census microdata 1991 and 2001
UK
communal establishments
region of residence
tenure
accommodation type
central heating
car or van availability
lowest floor level
household density
number of rooms
Choice and Constraint in Non-Permanent Housing: Attitudes towards Mobile Homes and Residential Boats, 2007-2008 2007-2008
England
reasons and motivations for choosing homes
views and experiences of current home and locality
perceptions of ability to develop and sustain lifestyle choice in non-permanent accommodation such as caravans, mobile homes and boats
Citizenship Survey 2001, 2003, 2005 and annually from 2007-2008 to 2010-2011
England and Wales
local community
length of residence
accommodation
community cohesion
civic engagement
Continuous Household Survey 1983-continuing
Northern Ireland
housing
social indicators and quality of life
use and provision of specific social services
Crime Survey for England and Wales (formerly the British Crime Survey, 1982-) 1982-continuing (biennial until 2001, then annual cross-sectional survey)
Respondents aged 16-59 years
England and Wales
local environment
social capital
property crime
English Housing Survey (survey merging Survey of English Housing and English House Conditions Survey) 2008-continuing
England
household characteristics
satisfaction with the home and the area
disability and adaptations to the home
work on the property
income details
Ethnic Relations on West Midland Housing Estates, 1983-1984 1983-1984
West Midlands
housing
immigration
European Quality of Life Survey 2003-continuing
Europe
community facilities
neighbourhood perceptions
housing facilities
European Social Survey 2002-continuing
Europe
neighbourhood perceptions
Eurostat New Cronos monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or annual
25 European Union countries plus Japan, the United States, the central European countries and other main economic partners of the Union
data from 1960 onwards depending on the variable and country selected
living conditions and welfare
type of household
household expenditure
urbanisation
household characteristics
material deprivation
environment of the dwelling
Families and Children Study 1999-2008
Great Britain
community facilities
neighbourhood perceptions
housing facilities
Gender Divisions and Gentrification, 1960-1992 1960-1992
Edinburgh, Scotland
urban gentrification
home buying
home ownership
gender divisions and urban change

General Lifestyle Survey series (previously known as General Household Survey)

1971-continuing (repeated cross-section)
Britain
housing
household information
accommodation type
housing tenure/costs
Last Refuge, 1958-1959 1958-1959
England and Wales
residential care of the elderly
nursing homes
old people's homes
Livings Costs and Food Survey (previously known as Expenditure and Food Survey) 2001-continuing (repeated cross-section)
United Kingdom
housing
household durables
Living in Wales (formerly Welsh House Conditions Survey) 2004-continuing (repeated cross-section)
Wales
housing
travel and transport
social attitudes and behaviour
social indicators and quality of life

OECD Social and Welfare Statistics

1980 continuing, country level data
updated every two years
covering 30 countries
housing assistance expenditure
day care/home help service expenditure

Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (formerly ONS Opinions or Omnibus Survey)

1990-continuing (repeated cross-section)
Britain
multi-purpose survey
(including modules on
housing, neighbourhoods, services and the built environment)

Place Survey 2008

2008
England
civic participation
satisfaction with local area
perceptions of anti-social behaviour
Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 1993-continuing
Scotland
local environment
social capital
property crime
Scottish House Condition Survey 1991- continuing
Scotland
household composition
tenure
work done to the dwelling
heating arrangements
housing costs
Scottish Household Survey 1999- continuing
Scotland
household composition
tenure
vehicles available
household income
neighbourhood problems
Survey of New Refugees 2005-2009 - continuing
United Kingdom
housing
characteristics of refugees
employment
changes in English language ability
Understanding Society 2009-continuing
United Kingdom
noise pollution
access to public services
neighbourhood perceptions
housing facilities
house prices
World Bank Africa Development Indicators 1960 onwards
annual time series data at country level for over 1,400 indicators
53 countries and 5 regional groups
arable land and forest area
household expenditure
households with ITN connection, own telephone, personal pc
sanitation
number of power outages
rural and urban population
road and rail network
World Development Indicators 1960 onwards
country level data
Over 200 countries
birth/death rates
household expenditure
urban and rural population
road and rail network
urbanisation
fertility

 

Other research communities are less interested in these primary, and predominantly individual-level, data and are more likely to be consumers of information that has been published at the aggregate-level (e.g. tables of data where results are aggregated to health authority level, or region or country). Whilst the UK Data Service holds some aggregate-level data of interest to housing and the local environment researchers – English Housing Survey data, for example, and the cross-national Eurostat, United Nations and World Bank databases – we are only one of many online resources that provide access to published data based on the housing and the local environment theme.

 

Other key data publishers

UK Statistics Authority


Department for Communities and Local Government


Government and voluntary sector


Academic centres and services

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