Total: £0.00

picture of telephone  click icon for access to housing law in practice reference manual for membersMailing ListTwitterFacebook  YouTube

When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

NI Housing Statistics 2016/17

The Department for Communities and Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency have released the 2016/17 Northern Ireland Housing Statistics.

Homelessness and social renting demand

In 2016/17, 18,573 households presented to the Housing Executive as homeless, a marginal increase on the previous year. The most common reasons for presenting as homeless were current accommodation being unreasonable, and a family or sharing breakdown. 64% of these households, so just under 12,000 households, were accepted as full duty applicant homeless.

The Housing Executive has recently published its 2017-2022 Homelessness Strategy, which will take an outcomes approach and focussing on both relieving and preventing homelessness.

More broadly, the general demand for social housing remains similar to the previous year, with 37,611 households on the waiting list at the end of 2016/17. Of these households, 63% are in “housing stress” – meaning they have 30 points or more on the waiting list.

Allocations of social housing are currently subject to consultation, with Departmental proposals open for comment until 21st December.

Housing tenures

The breakdown of housing tenure remains very similar to 2015/16, with 39% of houses owned outright; 27% owned with a mortgage; 17% rented socially and a further 16% rented privately.

The disparity between social and private rents continues, with the average social rent being £75 per week whilst private rents are a much higher £94 per week. Higher rents in the private sector are an ongoing concern to tenants, with LHA rules meaning many private tenants will face a shortfall between their Housing Benefit and their rent. This will be an important consideration for the Department for Communities, given their proposal to discharge homeless households into the private sector as part of the ongoing allocations consultation.

House prices

House prices have continued their steady and gradual increase, with the average house bought in Northern Ireland in 2016/17 costing £132,169. House prices have been gradually increasing since early 2013; however, they remain significantly below their 2007 peak of £224,670. This means there is still a substantial tranche of homeowners in negative equity, which can lead to difficulties in selling the home and meeting mortgage payments. These and other issues were considered in detail by the Housing Repossessions Taskforce between 2014 and 2015.

Housing Rights helpline

Anyone experiencing problems with housing or homelessness can call the Housing Rights helpline on 028 90245640. 

Tagged In

Research, Policy


Stephen Orme

This article was written on 6 December 2017. It should not be relied on as a statement of the current law or policy position. For help with housing issues please contact our helpline on 028 9024 5640 or use our online chat service at www.housingadviceNI.org.