House Condition Survey

Northern Ireland House Condition Survey update: May 2022

The commencement of the fieldwork for the NI House Condition Survey (NIHCS) is under review due to the ongoing risks to health, and to data quality issues related to the pandemic.

Although restrictions have now eased, the pandemic continues to have an effect on research, particularly where surveys take place in the homes of participants. This is case for the NIHCS, which involves surveyors spending approximately 1 hour in each home in order to complete a technical inspection and a face-to-face interview.

We will continue to monitor and review the situation, and as part of this process we will undertake a pilot survey during the summer of 2022. This will help us to assess the willingness of householders to take part in face-to-face research, and to explore the possibility of using alternative methods of data collection. The findings of the pilot survey will be used when planning for the next NIHCS.

We will provide updates on the pilot survey and the timing of the next NIHCS when available.

If you have any queries please contact the NIHCS team at: nihcs@nihe.gov.uk

Modelled statistics

Following the postponement of the NIHCS in 2021, we consulted with users to identify requirements for key statistics which could be modelled using data from the 2016 NIHCS.

The statistics requested by users were:

  • Fuel poverty indicator: 2019 and 2020
  • Energy consumption tables
  • Heat loss parameter variable, and factors which influence the heat loss parameter

Fuel poverty indicator: update for users 07/03/22
In order to calculate the fuel poverty estimates, the modelling process uses a series of assumptions based on available data. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the data for 2020 relating to household income, fuel prices, energy efficiency improvements and the change in household make-up (re-grouping or bubbling) were not available through external sources or datasets.

Therefore at this time, it is not possible to produce a robust fuel poverty figure for 2020. We will revisit this at a later date.

The 2019 fuel poverty estimates report was published on 22nd March 2022. Work on the remaining modelling is ongoing. We will provide further updates when publication dates have been announced.

2016 Northern Ireland House Condition Survey (HCS)

The 2016 HCS  report, which was published in May 2018, presents a comprehensive overview of Northern Ireland’s dwelling stock and its occupants in 2016, including information about fuel poverty, disrepair, Decent Homes, the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP), the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS), unfitness, and household profiles.

Between 2016 and 2018 the House Condition Survey was assessed by the Office for Statistics Regulation and was found to be fully compliant with the principles of the Code of Practice for Statistics. It was awarded National Statistics status in May 2018.

National Statistics status means that official statistics meet the highest standards of trustworthiness, quality and public value, and comply with all aspects of the Code of Practice for Statistics.

We welcome your feedback on the survey and related data and reports. If you have any comments or queries please contact us on nihcs@nihe.gov.uk

The preliminary findings from the 2016 Northern Ireland House Condition Survey, was first published in May 2017, providing an initial overview of findings on the dwelling stock as a whole and dwelling unfitness.

You can download the reports from the surveys undertaken in 2001, 2004 (interim survey), 2006, 2009 (interim survey) and 2011 by selecting the relevant study below

Additional 2016-based reports: Ad hoc official statistics

Following the publication of the 2016 House Condition Survey (HCS) main report, and in response to users’ needs, the Housing Executive commissioned the Building Research Establishment (BRE) to produce a number of reports using data from the 2016 survey. The reports are modelled and developed solely by BRE and will be published as ad hoc official statistics.

The Housing Executive worked closely with BRE to ensure that the principles of the Code of Practice for Statistics were applied (where practicable) to each report. All reports were pre-announced on GOV.uk. In addition the Housing Executive carried out quality assurance on each report to ensure the commentary drew out the main messages, and that information about methods and quality was provided for users.

Cost of carbon savings in Northern Ireland’s housing stock: correction

The ‘Cost of carbon savings in Northern Ireland’s housing stock’ was published in February 2021. The main findings of the report follow the EPC improvement methodology set out in Appendix T of SAP 2012 (v9.93). It also includes some additional analysis of alternative packages of improvements. Following publication the production team identified an error in the key findings section, in relation to the additional analysis of alternative improvement packages. Specifically, the savings attributed to improving dwellings to Band C were incorrect. The issue was caused by a typing error and effects one sentence in the key findings section. It does not affect the main improvement methodology, and there is no issue with the data or the savings reported throughout the output.  The error has been corrected, and there is no impact on the overall findings of the report.

In addition, the contractor notified us that in 2 of the charts (Figures 1 and 3), the data for one of the improvement measures hadn’t been incorporated correctly. The difference was minor and all numbers in the report were correct. Visually there is little noticeable change to the charts, but for accuracy they have been corrected.

Users should now refer to the corrected version which is available to download below.

Cost of carbon savings in NI housing stock (PDF 500 kb)

Estimates of fuel poverty in Northern Ireland in 2017 and 2018: correction 

The ‘Estimates of fuel poverty in Northern Ireland in 2017 and 2018’ report was published on 9 April 2019. The fuel poverty estimates were calculated using data from the Quarterly Energy Prices (QEP), report published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in December 2018. In April 2019 it was noted that due to an error in the derivation in the December release, BEIS had published corrected figures. Footnotes about the correction have been included in QEP Table 2.2.4 ‘Average Unit costs and fixed costs for electricity for UK regions’. You can view the tables and the footnotes on the Gov.uk website.  

The Building Research Establishment (BRE) revised the Northern Ireland fuel poverty estimates based on the correction to the QEP data. It should be noted that the correction affects the 2018 fuel poverty estimate only, the 2017 estimate remains unchanged. Although the impact of the corrected QEP figures is minimal, users should now refer to the revised report and not the original version, which has been removed from the Housing Executive’s website. 

You can download the revised report below:

Estimates of fuel poverty NI 2017-2018

The Cost of Poor Housing in Northern Ireland 2009 is available below:

The Cost of Poor Housing in Northern Ireland in 2009

The pre-release access lists for the reports are also below:

Pre-release access list

You can also view the complete list of the Housing Executive’s official statistics to which pre-release access has been granted.

This file opens in Microsoft Excel (14kb).

Pre-release access list

Further information on Publication of NIHCS statistics


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Housing market analysis
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