Joint Programming Initiative

More Years, Better Lives

The Potential and Challenges of Demographic Change

English Housing Survey (EHS)
English Housing Survey (EHS)

Housing, Urban Development and Mobility
Relevance for this Topic
Country United Kingdom
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Contact information

Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG)
English housing survey project management
Eland House, Bressenden Place
SW1E 5DU London
United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0)303 444 0000
Email: ehs(at)

Timeliness, transparency

Data are available about 15 months after the end of fieldwork

Type of data


Type of Study

Cross-section, regular

Data gathering method

Face-to-face interview (CAPI, PAPI)

Face-to-face interview; House inspection; Surveyor property inspection; Desk-based property valuation

Access to data

Data are available from the UK Data Service (previously the Economic and Social Data Service, ESDS): The website contains detailed information on conditions of access, and it is also possible to contact the UK Data Service by phone: +44 (0)1206 872143, or by email:

Conditions of access

Registration is required and standard UK Data Service conditions of use apply. The depositor may be informed about usage. All users are required to agree to the terms and conditions pertaining to the use of data. These are described in the End User Licence (EUL) and agreed to when registering with the UK Data Service. Researchers based at a UK institution of higher or further education (UK HE/FE) can access the UK Data Service through their library. If you are outside the UK you will need to apply for a UK Data Archive username and password, and then register with the UK Data Service. In general, data required for non-commercial purposes can be downloaded at no cost. If data are requested on portable media, e.g. CD, handling and postage and packing fees will apply. See:
Secure Access datasets for the EHS include two detailed geographical variables that are not available in the standard End User Licence (EUL) versions: Postcodes and Lower Layer Super Output Areas. The two detailed geographical variables have been merged into the General derived data file within each Household and Housing Stock dataset. Prospective users of the Secure Access version of the EHS will need to fulfil additional requirements, commencing with the completion of an extra application form to demonstrate to the data owners exactly why they need access to the extra, more detailed variables, in order to obtain permission to use that version. Secure Access users must also complete face-to-face training and agree to Secure Access' User Agreement and Breaches Penalties Policy (see 'Access' section below). Therefore, users are encouraged to download and inspect the EUL versions of the data prior to ordering the Secure Access version. For more information, see:

This depends upon the user and conditions of use.

Anonymised microdata

Survey data from the UK Data Service are usually available to download in SPSS, Stata and tab-delimited (suitable for use in MS Excel) formats.



The EHS brings together two previous surveys into a single fieldwork operation: the English House Condition Survey (EHCS) and the Survey of English Housing (SEH). The survey has a complex multi-stage methodology consisting of 3 main elements: an initial interview survey of around 17,000 households with a follow-up physical inspection and a desk-based market valuation of a sub-sample of 8,000 of these dwellings, including vacant dwellings. Prior to April 2011, the interview survey sample formed part of the Integrated Household Survey (IHS), and the core questions from the IHS formed part of the EHS questionnaire. Housing Stock data are available for all cases where a physical survey has been completed. For occupied properties, the datasets include data from the household interview as well as data from the physical survey and market value survey. For vacant properties, only data for the physical survey and market value survey are provided. The data are made available for a two year rolling sample i.e. approximately 16,000 cases together with the appropriate 2-year weights. For example, the first EHS Housing Stock dataset is for '2008' covering the period April 2007 to March 2009. Number of units sampled: Household: approximately 17,000 - 18,000 households Housing Stock: approximately 16,000 - 17,000 dwellings; approximately 15,500 - 16,000 households

2008 (or older for the previous surveys that it replaced)

The data includes a variety of demographic variables, including age and sex. The sample is stratified.

One-stage stratified or systematic random sample [Stratified by tenure: rented tenures are over-represented and owner-occupation under-represented in relation to national estimates]

Countries (England) Government Office Regions (NUTS1) More detailed spatial data are available under Special License.

All ages

Representative of dwellings and their occupants in England The data include weighting variables

The English Housing Survey (EHS) is a continuous national survey commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) that collects information about people's housing circumstances and the condition and energy efficiency of housing in England. The survey covers all housing tenures and provides valuable information and evidence to inform the development and monitoring of the department's housing policies. Results from the survey are also used by a wide range of other users including other government departments, local authorities, housing associations, landlords, academics, construction industry professionals, consultants, and the general public. The EHS is used to derive two types of datasets: Household and Housing Stock. Household datasets comprise the full interview data (plus associated derived variables) for all cases where an interview has been completed. Datasets are provided for single financial years together with annual weights. The survey consists of a detailed interview using a CAPI based program. An interview is first conducted with the householder. Household datasets should be used for any analysis where only information from the household interview is required. The Housing Stock datasets should be used for any analysis requiring information relating to the physical characteristics and energy efficiency of the housing stock. Derived datasets provide key analytical variables compiled post-fieldwork including energy efficiency ratings, decent home indicators and equivalised income.

Further related publications, including bulletins and reports, may be found on the Department for Communities and Local Government English Housing Survey webpages, see: • Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. “The UK Fuel Poverty Strategy: 6th Annual Progress Report 2008.” BERR, London, 2008. • Department for Communities and Local Government. “English Housing Survey 2010: Housing Stock Report.” DCLG (2012). ISBN 978-1-4098-3472-4. • Department for Communities and Local Government. “English Housing Survey 2010-2011: Household Report.” DCLG (2012) ISBN 978-1-4098-3473-1. •


There is an ongoing cross-governmental programme of work in the UK which aims to develop and improve standardised inputs and outputs for use in official statistics. This is known as harmonisation, and is led by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). While this work primarily affects government-run surveys, the results have an impact on most national UK data sources. Furthermore, harmonisation has important benefits for all researchers using these surveys, and not just government statisticians. For more information, see:

Data are anonymised

Data quality

In addition to unit non-response, the data include item non-response and may be subject to other errors that are typical of surveys and censuses. This data source is used to prepare official statistics, which are required to meet quality standards. These standards are monitored by the UK Statistics Authority, according to the statutory authority provided by the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007.
Further information is not readily available. For more information on data quality, see the survey documentation on the UK Data Service website.

There are no major breaks for this data source.

In general, the consistency of this data source is good. For more information on data quality, see the survey documentation on the UK Data Service website.


The EHS Household datasets consist of the results from a detailed interview with the householder using a CAPI based program. The interview topics include: household characteristics, satisfaction with the home and the area, disability and adaptations to the home, work done to the property, fires and fire hazards (a rotating module re-introduced in 2010-11), and income details. The EHS Housing Stock datasets consist of the results from the household interview survey, as well as the results from the physical survey and the market value survey. • The physical survey consists of 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. • The market value survey 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. No market value survey was conducted for the 2010 Housing Stock survey. Further information regarding strengths and weaknesses is not readily available.

  • The information about this dataset was compiled by the author:
  • Mike Murphy
  • (see Partners)