House Condition Survey

Northern Ireland House Condition Survey (NIHCS) 2021

Due to Covid-19, the NIHCS 2021 has been postponed until 2022. In the interim, the Housing Executive will consult with users to identify the key statistics needed, and will produce modelled statistics using data from the 2016 NIHCS.


The next NIHCS was scheduled to take place in 2021, with fieldwork taking place between March and September. The NIHCS 2021 has a sample size of 7,000 dwellings across NI. In order to complete an inspection,  surveyors are required to be in each dwelling for approximately 1 – 1 ½ hours.

Carrying out surveys during COVID-19

The Housing Executive has been monitoring government guidance in relation to Covd-19. It also completed an extensive consultation process in order to gather a range of views in relation to carrying out the survey during the pandemic.

Who did we consult with?

•    The NIHCS Steering Group
•    Users of NIHCS statistics (consultation with the user engagement group, and an online survey to reach other users)
•    The contractor who provides technical expertise and surveyor training
•    Producers of the housing condition surveys in England, Scotland and Wales
•    Producers of other surveys in NI
•    The supervisors and surveyors who worked on the 2016 NIHCS

What were the main risks/concerns?

•    Concern about the transmission of Covid-19
•    Concern that there may be a low response rate (as is the experience of other surveys carried out during the pandemic), which would lead to data quality issues
•    Concern that if there are data quality issues, users will not have the information needed to make informed decisions relating to policy, planning etc.

Next steps

The Research Unit will consult with users to establish the key modelled statistics required. Further updates will be provided on the Housing Executive’s website when available.

If you would like to provide feedback in relation to the modelled data, or if you have any queries, you can contact the NIHCS team by e-mailing:


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

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 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 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

Housing market analysis
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