UK Data Service series record for:
The English Housing Survey (EHS) began in 2008-09, bringing together two previous housing surveys into a single fieldwork operation: the English House Condition Survey (EHCS) which ran in 5 years between 1967 and 2001 and became continuous from 2002 to 2007, and the Survey of English Housing (SEH) which ran from 1993/94 to 2007-08. Commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), the EHS collects information from households on housing circumstances. It includes a household questionnaire, a physical assessment of the property and in some years, a desk-based market value assessment. A periodic follow-up survey of private landlords and agents (the Private Landlords Survey (PLS)) is conducted using information from the EHS interview survey.
GN 33277 | Survey of English Housing, 1993-2008
GN 33422 | English Housing Survey, 2008-
GN 33448 | English Housing Survey, 2008- : Secure Access
GN 33515 | English Housing Survey, 2014/15- : Special Licence Access
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The EHS is a continuous national survey commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) that collects information from 17,000 households annually on housing circumstances. It includes a household questionnaire, a physical assessment of the property and in some years, a desk-based market value assessment. Also, a periodic follow-up survey of private landlords and agents (the Private Landlords Survey (PLS)) is conducted using information from the EHS interview survey. The EHS started in 2008 and brings together two previous housing surveys into a single fieldwork operation: the English House Condition Survey (EHCS) and the Survey of English Housing (SEH).
The Survey of English Housing is a continuous annual survey series, which ran from 1993-2007/8 and the English House Condition Survey series ran 5 times from 1965-2001 and annually from 2002-2007/8.
The EHS is an annual dataset and is available from 2008-09 onwards.
The SEH is an annual dataset and is available from 1993-1994 to 2007-2008.
The EHCS ran in 5 years between 1967 and 2001 and became continuous from 2002 to 2007. The first two years (1967 and 1971) it ran as the National House Condition Survey and covered England and Wales. From 2002, the survey moved to a continuous basis and the data were provided as a two-year rolling sample of approximately 16,000 cases (i.e. the data for 2003 cover information collected from April 2002 to March 2004, data for 2004 comprise information collected from April 2003 to March 2005). From April 2008, the EHCS merged with the SEH to form the EHS.
For an up-to-date list of available datasets, please see the DATA ACCESS section on this webpage.
English Housing Survey (2008-)
The following topics are covered in most years of the EHS:
Data collected by a visual inspection of the property include the number and type of rooms and facilities contained in the property, the condition of a wide range of aspects of the physical structure, details of the heating systems, parking provision, and assessment of neighbourhood quality. Property valuations are also collected so that information on local housing markets and householders' equity in their homes can be derived.
See the documentation on the catalogue page for each survey for more information about the topics covered in that year.
Survey of English Housing (1993-2007/8)
The SEH provides key housing data on tenure, owner occupation and the social rented sector, and regular information about the private rented sector. The main aims of the SEH are to provide regular information about the main features of people's housing and their views about their circumstances, and information about the private rented sector (not covered by routine administrative statistics like the owner-occupied and social rented sectors).
English House Condition Survey (mostly 2002-2007/8, some earlier surveys)
The EHCS consists of a number of component surveys:
An interview is first conducted with the householder. The interview topics include: household characteristics, satisfaction with the home and the area, disability and adaptations to the home, work done to the property and income details.
The interview is followed by a visual inspection of the property, both internally and externally, by a qualified surveyor. Data collected include the number and type of rooms and facilities contained in the property, the condition of a wide range of aspects of the physical structure, details of the heating systems, parking provision, and assessment of neighbourhood quality.
Market Value Survey
This is a desk-based exercise providing two market valuations for each of the core cases. The first gives the market value of the property in its current condition. The second gives the valuation after necessary repairs were undertaken (if identified from the Physical survey). Valuers also provide information about the housing market in the immediate neighbourhood in which the property is situated.
Variable lists and PDF user guides (including questionnaires) are freely available on the catalogue page of each dataset. To find a dataset's catalogue page, follow the link to the dataset from this page under DATA ACCESS or from the results pages in our database search engine Discover.
In the EHS interviews are only carried out with the householder or their partner but there is some basic socio-demographic information that includes all members of the household, for example, age, marital status, economic status, source of income and education. This information is provided in the file people.sav or people.dta which can be found in the Interview folder when you download the data. At households containing private renters, an additional interview is carried out with the tenant or partner in each tenancy group in the household.
The SEH and EHS do not include information at the person level. Interviews are only carried out with the householder or their partner. At households containing private renters, an additional interview is carried out with the tenant or partner in each tenancy group in the household.
Following consultation with users at the end of 2005 a new household interview questionnaire was developed for the EHS that brings together all the key information from the previous Survey of English Housing (SEH) and English House Condition Survey (EHCS). Some less critical information was dropped or is collected less frequently through a rotating module every two or three years. For example the EHS collects data on fires in the home, on a rotating basis. Certain key descriptive information about each household member is collected at the start of the interview which also feeds into the ONS Integrated Household Survey (IHS). The following topics are covered in most years:
Around half those households interviewed are randomly selected to have a physical inspection undertaken of their home. An appointment is made at a time convenient to the respondent for a named surveyor to call. The content of this visual inspection has continued largely unchanged from the previous EHCS and involves an internal and external assessment of the property by a professional surveyor. The new EHS, therefore continues to provide key measures relating to Decent Homes, energy efficiency, quality of local environments and the new Housing Health and Safety Rating System. Property valuations are also collected so that information on local housing markets and householders' equity in their homes can be derived. As for the previous EHCS, information relating to stock condition, neighbourhood quality and energy efficiency will be analysed annually based on a two year rolling sample.
Yes. See the documentation on the catalogue page for each survey for more information about weighting the EHS.
The key methodological change is that the EHS follows an unclustered design in which households are directly sampled. Prior to this the SEH followed a multistage sample design with clustering where postcodes were selected as the primary sampling units and then households with postcodes were sampled. This means that calculations of standard errors using EHS data (at household level) can assume a simple random sample - there is no need to adjust standard errors to account for a complex sample design (as is the case for the SEH). The unclustered nature of the EHS sample is a positive development as it will deliver greater precision for many indicators than is achieved within the SEH.
Another methodological change relates to the way people are selected for interview. The SEH aimed to interview all households at multi-household addresses. In privately renting households with more than one tenancy group, the SEH also attempted to conduct interviews with each tenancy group. In contrast, the EHS selects one dwelling per address and one household per dwelling, and interviews only the household reference person (HRP) of that household or their partner. In a small number of cases a proxy interview was undertaken with another household member or carer.
In terms of survey length, the SEH interview length was about 25 minutes while the EHS could last up to 45 minutes depending on the household characteristics and questionnaire routing.
There are some other discontinuities linked to calculation of rent calculations that are discussed in the EHS Household Report 2008-09 (see Appendix C).
There will unfortunately be some disruption to time series analysis of data from the SEH and the EHS. The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) who commission the survey will provide guidance as to where time series have been affected.
Reports from the EHS can be obtained from the Communities and Local Government website.
There are a number of other housing surveys in the UK:
For other related studies, see the ‘Related studies’ section on this page. For other ideas for data and resources about housing, see our Housing and the local environment theme pages.
Using the English Housing Survey for teaching
A teaching dataset is a cut-down version of the original survey dataset, designed to be used in teaching. Each teaching dataset comes with its own short user guide. The following teaching dataset based on the EHS is available:
See our teaching pages for practical information, exemplars, and tips for using UK Data Service data in teaching, including: