The Northern Ireland Housing Statistics 2017-18 is released

Date published: 04 December 2018

A report entitled “Northern Ireland Housing Statistics 2017-18” 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.

Please note that further detailed statistics on each topic are available alongside the main report in accompanying excel tables. 

Key facts include:


  • There were 790,328 dwellings in Northern Ireland in April 2018, a rise of 7,056 (1%) from 2017 (783,272). The volume of housing stock has increased year on year throughout the time series (2008 – 2018).
  • In 2017-18, there were 7,100 new dwelling completions recorded by Building Control, an increase of 10% from the previous year (6,465).
  • During 2017-18 there were 1,507 Social Housing Development Programme (SHDP) new dwelling completions, an increase of 9% from 2016-17 (1,387). Figures for the SHDP are sourced from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.
  • In 2017-18 there were 7,382 Residential Planning decisions made. Of these 94% were granted (6,947).                                                                               


  • Between 2012-13 and 2017-18, 38,537 Boiler Replacement grants were approved amounting to £26.1 million. This equates to an average of £678 per household.
  • In the year ending 31 March 2018 there were 4,312 approvals for the ‘Affordable Warmth Scheme’ issued, and 4,148 homes had been improved.

Social Renting Demand

  • In total, 18,180 households presented as homeless to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive in 2017-18, a decrease of 2% from the previous year (18,573). The household types with the highest number of homeless presenters in 2017-18 were single males (33%) and families (32%).
  • In 2017-18, of the 18,180 households presenting as homeless 11,877 households (65%) were accepted as full duty applicants and 4,688 (26%) were rejected. Of those households accepted as full duty applicants during the year 1,837 were discharged.

Private Renting Demand

  • The estimated average (median) rent per week for the private rented sector in Northern Ireland in 2016-17 was £98, £40 below the UK average (£138) and lower than England (£148), Scotland (£115) and Wales (£109).
  • This compares to the estimated average (median) rent per week for the social rented sector in Northern Ireland in 2016-17 which was £77.

Owner Occupied Demand

  • The Northern Ireland House Price Index (HPI) in Quarter 3 (July - September) 2018 stands at 121.7 (Q1 2015=100).
  • Between Quarter 3 2017 and Quarter 3 2018, the HPI increased by 4.8%.
  • The number of loans for first time buyers in 2017 was 9,600. This is a 19% increase from the 2016 figure.

Household Characteristics

  • For those buying with a mortgage, the majority of their estimated average income was generated from wages and salaries at 82%. In comparison, for social renters, social security benefits (48%) made up the largest proportion of income, with 26% generated through wages and salaries.
  • In 2017-18 the average rates bill was £938.

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). Due to a change in methodology, there is no available update for Housing Association average rents for 2016-17. The next iteration of NI Housing Statistics publication will include 2017-18 data

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 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

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 Housing publication can be downloaded from the website 

14. Further enquiries should be addressed to:

Analytical Services Unit
1st Floor
Lighthouse Building
1 Cromac Place
Gasworks Business Park
Belfast BT7 2JB
Telephone:  02890 829093

15. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Communities Press Office on 028 9082 3505 or email Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110 and your call will be returned.

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