The Northern Ireland Housing Statistics 2016-17

Date published: 05 December 2017

A report entitled “Northern Ireland Housing Statistics 2016-17” was published today by the Department for Communities (DfC).

Statistical graphic showing plastic houses

The Northern Ireland Housing Statistics report is produced each year by the Analytical Services Unit of the Department for Communities. This report is an annual compendium of statistics containing information on a range of areas relating to housing.

Key facts include:


  • There were 783,272 dwellings in Northern Ireland in April 2017, a rise of 6,746 (0.9%) from 2016 (776,526). The volume of housing stock has increased year on year throughout the time series (2008-2017). 
  • In 2016-17, there were 6,467 new dwelling completions recorded by Building Control, an increase of 12% from the previous year (5,788). 
  • During 2016-17, there were 1,387 Social Housing Development Programme (SHDP) new dwelling completions, an increase of 15% from 2015-16 (1,209). Figures for the SHDP are sourced from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. 
  • In 2016-17, there were 7,795 residential planning applications, this is an increase of 8% on the previous year. In 2016-17, there were 7,744 decisions, and of these 94% were granted (7,300).                                                                             


  • Between September 2012 and March 2017, grants for 35,010 replacement boilers were approved, amounting to £23.8million. This equates to an average grant of £680 per household. 
  • In the year ending 31 March 2017, there were 4,740 approvals for the ‘Affordable Warmth Scheme’ issued, and 5,069 homes had been improved. The total spend for the scheme since it began in September 2014 until 31 March 2017 was £34million.  

Social Renting Demand

  • The average weekly rent (excluding rates and service charges) charged by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive was £66.61 in 2016-17. This is almost identical to the average weekly rent in 2015-16 (£66.60). 
  • The average weekly rent (excluding rates and service charges) charged by Housing Associations in 2015-16 (latest available) was £80.46, a rise of 5% from the previous year (£76.73). 
  • In total, 18,573 households presented as homeless to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive in 2016-17, a decrease of less than 1% from the previous year (18,628). The household types with the highest number of homeless presenters in 2016-17 were single males (33%) and families (32%). 
  • In 2016-17, of the 18,573 households presenting as homeless 11,889 households (64%) were accepted as full duty applicants and 5,431 (29%) were rejected. Of those households accepted as full duty applicants during the year 1,842 were discharged.

Private Renting Demand

  • The estimated average (median) rent per week for the private rented sector in Northern Ireland in 2015-16 was £94, £38 below the UK average (£132) and lower than England (£138), Scotland (£107) and Wales (£100). 
  • The estimated average (median) rent per week for the social rented sector in Northern Ireland in 2015-16 was £75, £15 lower than the UK average (£90) and £19 lower than that of the private rented sector.

Owner Occupied Demand

  • The Northern Ireland House Price Index (HPI) in Quarter 3 (July - September) 2017 stands at 119.1 (Q1 2015=100). 
  • Between Quarter 3 2016 and Quarter 3 2017, the HPI increased by 6%. 
  • The number of completed applications for the Co-Ownership Housing Scheme in 2016-17 was 699. This is a decrease of 4% from 2015-16 (728). The median price of a property purchased through the scheme during 2015-16 was £119,950. 
  • The number of loans for first time buyers and home movers in 2016 was 8,100 and 5,800 respectively. In comparison to 2015, the figure for first time buyers has increased by 9% and there has been a slight increase of 4% for home movers.
  • The number of mortgage cases received by the Chancery Division of the Northern Ireland High Court in 2016-17 was 1,056, 16% lower than in 2015-16.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Northern Ireland Housing Statistics is an annual compendium of statistics. The publication is divided into sections covering: Supply; Energy; Social Renting Demand; Private Renting Demand; Owner Occupier Demand and Household Characteristics.
  2. Housing stock data are based on administrative data published by Land and Property Services.
  3. Building Control New Dwelling Starts and Completions data are published by Land and Property Services (LPS).  The starts and completions data for the social sector are sourced from the NIHE which manages the Social Housing Development Programme (SHDP).
  4. Data on the volume of Housing Output in Northern Ireland is obtained from the Northern Ireland Construction Bulletin. Housing Output is defined as all public and private sector construction activity (New Work and Repair & Maintenance) associated with Housing. Repair and Maintenance work in relation to housing includes repairs, maintenance, improvements, house/ flat conversions, extensions, alterations and redecoration on existing housing.
  5. Data on residential planning applications and decisions are sourced from the Department for Infrastructure.
  6. Data on the Warm Homes, Affordable Warmth and Boiler Replacement Scheme are sourced from the NIHE.
  7. Statistics on NIHE average rents are sourced from the NIHE whilst statistics on Housing Association average rents are based on information collected by DfC on social housing stock owned by its registered Housing Associations (HAs).
  8. Statistics on homelessness are sourced from the NIHE. Where the Housing Executive concludes that an applicant is eligible, homeless (threatened with homelessness), in priority need and unintentionally homeless it owes them full housing duty. An applicant to whom full housing duty is owed is referred to as a “Full Duty Applicant” – FDA.  In this case the Executive shall ensure that accommodation becomes available for their occupation. The Housing Executive can discharge its housing duty in one of three ways: by re-housing of the applicant in the social or private sector, by offering the applicant three reasonable offers of accommodation which are all refused by the applicant or if the applicant re-houses him/herself and is no longer interested.
  9. Statistics on private sector rents are sourced from the Northern Ireland Family Resources Survey 2014-15 and the UK Family Resources. The Family Resources Survey collects detailed information on the incomes and circumstances of private households from April to March each year. At the time of publication not all updates for 2015-16 were available from the NI Family Resources Survey.
  10. Statistics on the Co-Ownership Housing Scheme are sourced from DfC.
  11. Statistics on mortgage lending are sourced from the UK Finance Regulated Mortgage Survey.
  12. Data on mortgage cases are sourced from the NI Courts and Tribunals Service.
  13. Copies of the publication can be downloaded from the Department for Communities’ website 
  14. Further enquiries should be addressed to:
    Analytical Services Unit
    1st Floor
    Lighthouse Building
    1 Cromac Place
    Gasworks Business Park
    BT7 2JB
    Telephone: 02890 829093
  15. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Communities Press Office on 028 90823505 or email . Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.

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