Existing Tenants Survey 2008

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					Existing Tenants Survey 2008
Tenant mobility and aspirations




                                  1
Existing Tenants Survey 2008: tenant mobility and
aspirations


Contents

Introduction                                                                 3
Key findings                                                                 4
Recent trends in tenant moves (context from the Survey of English Housing)   5
Tenant aspirations for short to medium term moves                            7
Longer term housing aspirations                                              13
Aspirations for children                                                     16
Under-occupier trading down moves and tenant attitudes to such moves         17
Conclusions                                                                  19




                                                                                  2
Introduction

The Existing Tenants Survey (ETS) is a large-scale and comprehensive survey of social
housing tenants owned by the TSA. It comprises 19,307 interviews with general needs
tenants, 808 with supported housing tenants and 1,147 with shared owners. The interviews
lasted 30 minutes on average and were conducted in the tenants'/shared owners' own
home. The survey was undertaken by MRUK and interviews were conducted between August
and October 2008 for tenants, and February to April 2009 for shared owners. The sample
was selected from landlords' lists using a stratified random sampling approach.

The ETS was undertaken on behalf of the Housing Corporation in 1995, 2000 and 2004,
comprising 10,000 interviews with housing association tenants (general needs and supported
housing). The same sampling method and, where appropriate, the same questions, were
used for the 2008 survey. However, in 2008 the sample was extended to also include local
authority and ALMO tenants.

A series of reports have been produced using ETS data, each focussing on a key theme or
sample. Full details of the methodology, the questionnaire and the full set of reports are
available on the TSA's website: www.tenantservicesauthority.org

This report focuses on the survey findings specific to tenant mobility and aspirations, and is
based on general needs tenants. The report has been written by Heriot-Watt University,
Edinburgh.




                                                                                                 3
Key findings

   About three quarters of social renter moves are within the sector, with only a quarter
    involving a switch to home ownership or private renting. One tenant in 20 moves within
    the sector each year
   There are links between mobility aspirations, on the one hand, and satisfaction with
    landlords and neighbourhoods, on the other. Most of those ‘very dissatisfied’ with their
    area as place to live (54%) expected to move within two years (compared with only
    seven per cent of all tenants)
   The most frequently cited factor underlying tenant aspirations to move was the desire to
    access a larger home (mentioned by 26% of those wanting a move within two years)
   Most social renters (72%) stated a preference for remaining in the sector over the next
    ten years. Only 16% would, if possible, switch to the private sector (whether via
    purchasing their existing home under the Right to Buy, buying a home on the open
    market or taking on a private tenancy)
   About half of older under-occupiers in the social rented sector agreed, in principle that
    ‘people who have a home larger than they really need should release it so a bigger family
    could have it’. However, excluding those strongly in agreement with this proposition,
    three quarters of older under-occupiers said there was ‘nothing’ which could persuade
    them to make such a move and financial incentives to do so were of interest to only a
    very small minority
   More than a quarter of tenants with children aged over 18 still living at home (28%)
    expected that, upon leaving home, their sons and daughters would move direct to social
    renting, while 21% believed they would switch directly to home ownership. Only six per
    cent of tenants who were parents envisaged that their children’s first independent home
    would be a private tenancy




                                                                                           4
Recent trends in tenant moves (context from the Survey
of English Housing)
Inter-tenure moves

To set the ETS 2008 results in context, we first look at longer term trends in moves involving
social renters. The data source here is the Survey of English Housing (SEH), a large
government-sponsored survey undertaken annually and with a cross-tenure sample size
similar to the ETS. As shown by SEH results for the past few years, some 1.5-2% of tenants
move from the social rented sector into the private sector, annually (see table below). The
period from 1999-2000 to 2006-07 saw a sharp drop in moves into home ownership. By
2006-07 – the most recent year for which data is available – only one social renter in every
500 bought a home on the open market. In 1999-2000 it was one in every 71. The
downward trend in the number of such moves has been the major factor underlying the
37% drop in the number of social sector homes becoming available for rent in the decade to
2006-071.

The incidence of moves to the private rented sector has been much steadier over the period,
with one social renter in 75 moving to take up a private tenancy in 2006-07 (see table
below).

Tenant moves out of the social rented sector, 1984 to 2006-07

                      Tenant moves (number – 000s)                Tenant moves (% of all social
                                                                           renters)
                   To home            To a          Total      To home       To a         Total
                   ownership         private                   ownership    private
                   *                tenancy                    *           tenancy
    1984               47              23            70          0.9%        0.5%         1.4%

 1994-95                38          42           80          0.9%         0.9%                  1.8%
 1995-96                56          57           113         1.3%         1.3%                  2.6%
 1996-97                39          57           96          0.9%         1.3%                  2.2%
 1997-98                49          50           99          1.1%         1.1%                  2.3%
 1998-99                47          42           89          1.1%         1.0%                  2.1%
 1999-2000              60          62           123         1.4%         1.5%                  2.9%
 2000-01                33          57           91          0.8%         1.4%                  2.1%
 2001-02                33          55           87          0.8%         1.3%                  2.1%
 2002-03                30          46           76          0.7%         1.1%                  1.9%
 2003-04                18          43           61          0.4%         1.1%                  1.5%
 2004-05                22          50           72          0.6%         1.2%                  1.8%
 2005-06                11          47           58          0.3%         1.2%                  1.5%
 2006-07                 7          57           64          0.2%         1.5%                  1.6%
Source: Table S217,    Survey of English Housing – Live tables (CLG website).

Also constituting relevant contextual material for the ETS results is research recently
published by the former Housing Corporation on the characteristics of former tenants moving

1
 Pawson, H. & Watkins, D. (2008) Analysing Key Trends in the Supply and Distribution of Social Housing
Lettings; Housing Corporation Sector Study 62 http://www.housingcorp.gov.uk/server/show/nav.001010001005


                                                                                                       5
out of social rented housing. Demographically, couples with children form the largest single
group among households moving from social renting to the private sector2. In recent years
most such movers have been people switching from social to private renting rather than
buying a home on the open market. Most of those moving to the private rented sector are
people on relatively low incomes – more than half of them report annual gross weekly
household incomes of under £3003. This contrasts with social tenant moves into home
ownership which would be possible only for those with incomes well above the social rented
sector norm.

Moves within social housing

Moves within social housing are much more numerous than moves from social renting into
the private sector. As shown in the table below, around one tenant in 20 moves within the
social rented sector each year. While most of these moves (78%) are transfers within local
authority housing or within the housing association sector, this leaves just over a fifth, which
are moves across the boundary between the two landlord types.

Tenant moves within the social rented sector, 1984 to 2006-07

                          to LA                         to HA           All intra-social rented
                                                                             sector moves
                  from LA       from HA       from LA       from HA    No (000s)         % of
                   (000s)        (000s)        (000s)        (000s)                     social
                                                                                       renters
1984                200            6             3              9          218          4.4%

1994-95           183           13           36            38             270          6.1%
1995-96           192           15           48            51             306          6.9%
1996-97           203           27           46            44             320          7.3%
1997-98           187           24           36            35             282          6.5%
1998-99           164           18           37            43             262          6.1%
1999-2000         141           22           24            53             240          5.6%
2000-01           126           16           37            46             225          5.3%
2001-02           132           16           38            44             229          5.5%
2002-03           103           13           33            43             192          4.7%
2003-04           122            9           30            43             204          5.1%
2004-05           109           16           31            48             203          5.1%
2005-06            76           16           29            63             185          4.7%
2006-07            88           26           20            73             207          5.3%
Source: Table S217, Survey of English Housing – Live tables




2
 Mobility and Social Housing (2008) Housing Corporation
http://www.housingcorp.gov.uk/server/show/ConWebDoc.14473
3
    Ibid


                                                                                                  6
Tenant aspirations for moves in the short to medium
term future
ETS 2008 results show that just under a fifth of tenants (18%) would like to move home
within the next two years. While the proportion wanting to move was marginally higher
among housing association tenants – at 19% – comparison with the equivalent figure from
housing association tenants surveyed in the 2004 ETS suggests a slight drop in aspirations to
move (from 23% in that survey). This could be seen as a positive message, consistent with
other data (from both the ETS and the Survey of English Housing) suggesting generally
rising tenant satisfaction rates in social housing4. However, it is also highly likely that 2008
tenant responses here are coloured by an appreciation that restrictions on mortgage
availability and falling house prices make a move to home ownership both less feasible and
less desirable in the short to medium term than would have been true in 2004.

As shown in the table below, aspirations to move were highly variable in relation to tenant
age. This is probably to be expected given that relationships, employment and other
household circumstances are more fluid among younger people. An aspiration to move
within two years was voiced by 41% of those aged 18-24, as compared with only seven per
cent of those aged over 65 (see table below). Almost a fifth (19%) of the former group were
‘definitely planning’ to move within this timeframe. Similarly, there was a very marked
difference here in relation to the number of children in the household. Almost half of all
tenants in households containing four or more children wanted to move within the next two
years and a quarter expected to do so. These findings emphasise the high incidence of
housing problems experienced by larger families.

Geographically, there was a striking contrast between London, where only 10% of tenants
aspired to move within two years – and other parts of the country where the comparable
proportion was double this value (see table below). This might, perhaps, suggest that in
reporting their ‘aspirations’ a significant proportion of tenants factor in a realistic
understanding of their chances of bettering their existing housing circumstances.

There are strong links between mobility aspirations, on the one hand, and satisfaction with
landlords and neighbourhoods, on the other. Most of those ‘very dissatisfied’ with the overall
landlord service (61%) hoped to move within two years, while most of those ‘very
dissatisfied’ with their area as place to live (54%) expected to move within this timeframe.

Aspirations to move within two years: breakdown by selected characteristics

                                                     Would like to      Plan ‘definitely’ to      Base size
                                                     move within          move within 2
                                                       2 years                 years
    All                                                 18%                     7%                (19,307)

    LA                                                    19%                    7%                (4,998)
    ALMO                                                  14%                    6%                (5,027)
    HA                                                    19%                    8%                (5,616)
    HA - LSVT                                             20%                    6%                (3,666)


4
 Tenant Services Authority (2009) Tenant Perspectives on Social Landlord Services – a report based on the
2008 Existing Tenants Survey


                                                                                                             7
Tenant   aged   18   - 24                         41%               19%             (1,117)
Tenant   aged   25   - 39                         26%               10%             (5,032)
Tenant   aged   40   - 54                         18%               6%              (4,990)
Tenant   aged   55   - 64                         15%               4%              (2,735)
Tenant   aged   65   plus                          7%               2%              (5,314)

No of children in household - 0                   13%               5%              (12,148)
No of children in household – 4 or more           45%               25%               (371)

White                                             18%               6%              (17,321)
Asian                                             14%               6%                (655)
Black                                             21%               10%               (672)

London                                            10%                5%             (2,066)
South                                             22%                6%             (4,094)
Midlands                                          21%                8%             (6,118)
North                                             19%                8%             (6,986)

Very satisfied with overall landlord service      10%               4%              (6,110)
Satisfied with overall landlord service           17%               6%              (9,456)
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied                23%               8%              (2,153)
Dissatisfied with overall landlord service        47%               19%              (858)
Very dissatisfied with overall landlord           61%               32%              (568)
service

Very satisfied with area                          10%               35%             (6,844)
Satisfied with area                               14%               29%             (8,823)
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied                26%               39%             (1,864)
Dissatisfied with area                            55%               42%              (884)
Very dissatisfied with area                       72%               54%              (814)


Aggregating the figures for 2006-07 from the tables on pages 5 and 6 (Survey of English
Housing) it can be seen that the numbers of former tenants moving to new homes in that
year was equivalent to 6.9% of all social renters (1.6% moving out to the private sector plus
5.3% moving within the social rented sector). Over a two year period, therefore, some 14%
of social renters would be expected to move – either within the sector or into private
housing. Setting this against the 18% of tenants saying they would like to move within this
timeframe (see table above) seems to suggest that the extent of ‘frustrated mobility’ within
the social rented sector may be relatively modest.




                                                                                              8
                  Tenants wanting to move within 2 years: reasons

                            Property: home too small                                                   26%

              Location: to be nearer to family/friends                               15%

      Neighbourhood: get away from crime and ASB                                     15%

              Location: to be able to choose location                            14%

                  Neighbourhood: current neighbours                            12%

                           Property: lack of a garden                     10%

                  Property: need ground floor accom                 6%

                   Neighbourhood: poor environment              5%

            Financial: as an investment for the future          5%

                          Property: home is too large           5%

         Personal: health problems/medical reasons              5%

                      Property: lack of storage space          4%

          Tenure-related: poor service from landlord           4%

    Property: home in need of repairs/modernisation            4%

  Financial: to provide inheritance for children/family        4%

                                                          0%   5%        10%    15%        20%   25%     30%



Base: 3,682 tenants. Note: since this was a ‘multiple response’ question, tenants could
mention as many factors as came to mind.

The most frequently cited factor underlying tenant aspirations to move was the desire to
access a larger home. However, neighbourhood and location related factors were also often
mentioned. The ranking of factors did not vary greatly in relation to the size or type of home
currently occupied. There was also little difference by landlord type.

As might be expected, however, factors such as ‘lack of garden’ and ‘need ground floor
accommodation’ were more frequently cited by tenants occupying flats. For example, among
house-dwellers wanting a move the proportion citing a desire for a home with a garden as a
motivating factor was five per cent as compared with 18% for the equivalent cohort of flat-
dwellers. Although ‘home too small’ was less dominant as a motivation among tenants living
in properties with 3 bedrooms, it remained the most frequently cited reason for aspiring to
move, even within this group (being mentioned by 22% of those wanting a move).

As noted above the proportion of those wanting and/or expecting to move was particularly
high among large families – defined as households containing four or more children. As
might be expected, the need for a larger home was by far the most frequently mentioned
factor prompting such aspirations among this group. This was cited by 59% of tenants with
large families and wanting to move (as compared with only 29% of all aspirant movers). Also
of above-average significance for this group was dislike of neighbours – 20% of ‘large family’
aspirant movers cited this as a factor prompting desire to move as compared with only 13%
of all aspirant movers.



                                                                                                               9
When asked about their motivations for a house move tenants cited a very wide range of
factors. In grouping these factors under a limited number of broad headings, the table below
demonstrates that property-related factors were involved for more than half of those
concerned. The significance of some factors varied noticeably according to tenant age (see
table below). Hence, ‘financial reasons’ (eg. desire for home ownership as an investment)
were more commonly cited by younger tenants, while ‘personal reasons’ (eg health reasons)
were more significant among older age groups.


              Tenants prevented from moving: factors preventing a
                                    move

                     Financial: can't get a mortgage                                       17%

                      Financial: don't have a deposit                                 15%

  Financial: nothing available at an affordable price                                 15%

   Suitability: can't find a property of the right size                        11%

   Suitability: can't find a property in the right area                       10%

                Other: haven't taken any action yet                           10%

         Personal: family/personal problems/issues                        9%

         Other: unaware of options available to me                       8%

         Shortage: awaiting a move via transfer list                     8%

                   Financial: other financial reasons           4%

        Administrative: landlord won't let me move              4%

                                                          0%    5%       10%         15%        20%      25%



Base: all tenants wanting to move (3,186) - multiple responses allowed.

Tenants wanting to move within the next two years: factors prompting a desire to move
(aggregated) – breakdown by tenant age

                                   18 - 24       25 - 39       40 - 54    55 - 64      65 Plus           All
Base size                           (461)        (1,261)        (822)      (340)        (278)         (3,186)
                                      %             %             %          %            %              %

‘Financial reason(s)'                 10            13           9            5            2            10
‘Location reason(s)'                  40            28           29           28           27           30
‘Neighbourhood                        33            28           34           28           25           30
reason(s)'
‘Personal reason(s)'                  5             7            12           16           14           10
‘Property-related                     51            56           47           51           58           53
reason(s)'
‘Tenure-related                       11            12           13            4           8            11
reason(s)'




                                                                                                             10
Notes:
1. Since this is based on a ‘multiple response’ question where tenants could mention as
many factors as came to mind, the column percentages sum to more than 100.

2. Columns relating to tenants aged under 18 and those where age data was not collected
have been omitted.

While 18% of tenants said they would like to move in the near future, only seven per cent
(of all tenants) actually planned to do so (see row 1 of the table on page 7). As shown in the
table below, the profile of these households planning to move differs in some respects from
that of other households. Tenants planning to move were more likely to be aged under 40
and living in family households. Being in full time employment appears to be associated with
stability rather than an intention to move.

Profiling ‘definite movers’

                                     Planning to        Not        Planning to       Not
                                        move        planning to       move       planning to
                                                       move                         move
                                       Number         Number           %             %

 Tenant   aged   18   - 24               219            958            17             5
 Tenant   aged   25   - 39               535           4,751           42             27
 Tenant   aged   40   - 54               296           4,819           23             27
 Tenant   aged   55   - 64               112           2,507           9              14
 Tenant   aged   65   plus               114           4,837           9              27

 1 elder                                 65            2,928           5              16
 2 elders                                27            1,275           2              7
 1 other adult                           217           2,857           17             16
 2 adults – at least one non-elder       190           2,976           15             17
 1 adult, 1 or more children             319           1,798           25             10
 2 adults, 1 or more children            289           3,375           23             19
 Other                                   177           2,691           14             15

 White                                  1,077         15,503           86             87
 Asian                                   61            970             5              5
 Black                                   96            887             8              5
 Chinese                                  0             51             0              0
 Mixed                                   25            333             2              2

 One or more persons in f/t              397           6,843           31             38
 employment
 Part time worker(s) only                119           1,382           9              8
 No one in employment                    760           9,553           60             54


Some four per cent of all tenants aspired to move within the next two years but reported
that they were ‘definitely not’ planning to do so. Asked what factors made such a move
impossible, financial issues loomed large – see table on page 13. As shown in the figure
below, the three specific issues most commonly cited were all related to home ownership
affordability. This was true for ‘frustrated movers’, irrespective of the size of dwelling

                                                                                             11
currently occupied. (It should be noted that interviewing was undertaken in Autumn 2008
when the economic recession and housing market decline were only in their early stages)


              Tenants prevented from moving: factors preventing a
                                    move

                     Financial: can't get a mortgage                                  17%

                      Financial: don't have a deposit                            15%

  Financial: nothing available at an affordable price                            15%

   Suitability: can't find a property of the right size                   11%

   Suitability: can't find a property in the right area                  10%

                Other: haven't taken any action yet                      10%

         Personal: family/personal problems/issues                   9%

         Other: unaware of options available to me                  8%

         Shortage: awaiting a move via transfer list                8%

                   Financial: other financial reasons          4%

        Administrative: landlord won't let me move             4%

                                                          0%   5%   10%         15%     20%   25%



Base: 871 tenants. Note: since this was a ‘multiple response’ question, tenants could
mention as many factors as came to mind.

Tenants prevented from moving: summary of factors preventing a move


Financial issues                                                                              39
Lack of suitable accommodation in suitable area                                               20
Administrative factors (landlord rules etc.                                                   12
Personal factors                                                                              9
Other                                                                                         20


Base: 871 tenants. Note: since this was a ‘multiple response’ question, tenants could
mention as many factors as came to mind.




                                                                                                    12
Longer-term housing aspirations

As well as being questioned about their short to medium term expectations, ETS tenants
were also asked about their longer-term aspirations. As shown in the table on page 12, most
tenants of local authorities and housing associations said that they would like to remain in
their current tenure. Notably, the vast majority (72%) wanted to remain within the social
rented sector. Only a small minority – 16% – anticipated a switch to the private sector, most
of whom (14%) aspire to own their own home.

The ‘ten years hence’ preferences of ALMO tenants included 11% stating an aspiration to
rent from a housing association. On the face of it, this could reflect a recognition that ALMOs
were established as short term ‘delivery bodies’ and that their managerial responsibilities
could, in future, be reclaimed by local authorities or handed to housing associations via stock
transfer. In fact, however, it seems more likely that such responses reflect a degree of
confusion among ALMO tenants in relation to the organisational status of their current
landlord. As shown in the table on page 14, an appreciable number of ALMO tenants
reported themselves as currently renting from a housing association. In any event, this does
not reflect dissatisfaction with ALMO management performance – as shown by another
report in this series, satisfaction ratings among ALMO tenants were virtually identical to
those in other tenures5.

Housing tenure aspirations ten years hence: breakdown by current tenure

                                                                       Current tenure
                                                       LA            ALMO          HA               All
Base size                                            (4,998)        (5,027)      (9,282)         (19,307)
                                                        %              %            %               %

Rent from Council/ Local Authority/ALMO                 65             58             3              35
Rent from Housing Association                           4              11             69             36
Rent from private landlord                              2              2              1              2
Owner occupier/buying                                   17             12             12             14
Shared ownership                                        2              1              1              1
Sheltered housing (social rented)                       1              1              1              1
Sheltered housing (private)                             1              1              0              1
Other                                                   1              1              1              1

Note: Don’t know/not stated not included (except within overall sample sizes)




5
 Tenant Services Authority (2009) Tenant Perspectives on Social Landlord Services – a report based on the
2008 Existing Tenants Survey


                                                                                                            13
Actual current tenure compared with landlord type as reported by tenants

                                                   Council             ALMO              Housing
                                                                                        association
Base size                                          (4,998)            (5,027)             (9,282)
                                                      %                  %                   %

Council/ALMO                                           89                73                  5
Housing association                                    11                11                  94
Other Incorrect*                                       0                 13                  1
Don't know                                             0                 2                   1


While they are not particularly numerous, tenants aspiring to move out of the social rented
sector into private renting or home ownership are of particular interest from a policy
perspective. The table below compares the profiles of these groups with those of the
remaining body of current social renters. The former are disproportionately young, and tend
to be family households. Perhaps largely for these reasons the cohort envisaging a move to
the private sector is also less dominated by white households than the norm among current
social renters.

Most strikingly, virtually all social renters aspiring to become private tenants or homeowners
are members of households including persons in employment – jobless households account
for a mere two per cent of this cohort as against 64% of other tenants. If fulfilled, such
moves will only compound existing economic polarisation by tenure. This appears to be a
stark illustration of the residual dynamics embedded within the housing system.


Profiling tenants aspiring to move to the private sector within 10 years

                              Would like to move to        Not      Would like to move to        Not
                               …PRS        …Owner       wishing      …PRS        …Owner       wishing
                                          occupation    to move                 occupation    to move
                                                       to private                            to private
                                                         sector                                sector
                              Number      Number       Number          %           %              %
Tenant   aged   18   - 24       39         668           470           13          26             3
Tenant   aged   25   - 39      118         948          4,220          41          36             26
Tenant   aged   40   - 54      100         496          4,519          34          19             28
Tenant   aged   55   - 64       15          84          2,520          5           3              15
Tenant   aged   65   plus       18         403          4,530          6           16             28

1 elder                          13          44         2,936          5           2              18
2 elders                         0           76         1,226          0           3              8
1 other adult                    55          358        2,661          19          14             16
2 adults – at least one          66          415        2,685          23          16             16
non-elder
1 adult, 1 or more               34          420        1,663          12          16             10
children
2 adults, 1 or more              61          762        2,841          21          29             17
children
Other                            59          529        2,280          20          20             14


                                                                                                       14
White                      202   1,946   14,432   70   76   89
Asian                      28     215     788     10   8    5
Black                      39     309     635     13   12   4
Chinese                     0     15       36     0    1    0
Mixed                      20     88      250     7    3    2

One or more persons in     191   1,877   5,172    65   72   32
f/t employment
Part time worker(s) only   97    695      709     33   27   4
No one in employment       5     45      10,263   2    2    64




                                                                 15
Aspirations for children
Tenants with children aged over 18 still living at home were asked about their expectations
in relation to the type of housing their children would move into upon leaving home. More
than a quarter of tenants (28%) believed their children would want to move direct to home
ownership and more than a fifth (21%) thought this would be achieved (see table below).
While it might be expected that only a small proportion would see their children as aspiring
to take a private tenancy, it is perhaps more surprising that only a slightly larger number (six
per cent) thought that this would happen in practice.

Tenant expectations about their children’s housing futures

                                                   Will want to live in    Will actually live in
Base size (tenants with children aged 18+                (1,913)                 (1,913)
living at home)
                                                             %                      %

Owner occupation                                           28                       21
Rent from a social landlord                                25                       28
Rent from a private landlord                               4                        6
Shared ownership                                           2                        2
Move in with relatives/ friends                            1                        1
Key worker accommodation                                   2                        2
Forces accommodation                                       0                        0
College/University accommodation                           1                        1
Other                                                      2                        2
Don't know                                                 36                       39




                                                                                              16
Under-occupier trading down moves and tenant
attitudes to such moves
Data from local authority Housing Strategy Statistical Annex (HSSA) returns shows that just
over a fifth of 2007-08 local authority transfer lettings (22%) involved ‘trading down’ moves
by tenants ‘under-occupying’ their former homes. At the national scale, this proportion has
remained fairly constant over the past few years. The incidence of family-size council homes
freed up by ‘under-occupier trading down moves’ is probably somewhat greater than this
figure implies, since a proportion of local authority nominations to housing associations
involve existing council tenants moving from two or three bed properties into smaller
dwellings.

The number of housing association lettings which are ‘under-occupier trading down moves’ is
not recorded. However, the HSSA returns suggest a decline in the incidence of such
nominations, since the proportion of total nominees involving existing council tenants
(whether or not under-occupiers) fell from nine per cent in 2005-06 to seven per cent in
2007-08. Even in London, where councils historically made substantial use of nominations for
this purpose, the proportion involving local authority tenants moving to association tenancies
dropped from 23% to 16% over the same period. This might reflect the overwhelming
priority being placed on re-housing formerly homeless households from temporary
accommodation (TA), given the importance attached to meeting the Government’s TA
reduction target (halving the 2005 total by 2010).

Tenants agreeing that under-occupiers should make trading down moves

                                               All                Tenants occupying homes
                                                                  with 3 or more bedrooms
                                                     Base size                   Base size
All tenants                           59%             19,307         57%           7,158

Tenant   aged   18   - 24             69%             1,177          73%             346
Tenant   aged   25   - 39             64%             5,286          63%            2,061
Tenant   aged   40   - 54             59%             5,115          57%            2,028
Tenant   aged   55   - 64             58%             2,619          54%             970
Tenant   aged   65   plus             55%             4,951          48%            1,707

1 elder                               56%             2,993          50%             928
2 elders                              53%             1,302          43%             504
1 other adult                         59%             3,074          57%             869
2 adults – at least one non-          57%             3,166          51%            1,168
elder
1 adult, 1 or more children           68%             2,117          68%             815
2 adults, 1 or more children          64%             3,664          62%            1,509
Other                                 58%             2,868          58%            1,330

Well over half of tenants surveyed in the ETS (59%) agreed with the proposition that ‘people
who have a home larger than they really need should release it so a bigger family could have
it’ (see the table above). This was even true of 43% of pensioner couples living in properties
with three or more bedrooms. However, as shown in the table on page 18, when asked what
would persuade them to move to a smaller property, almost three quarters of elderly under-


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occupiers said ‘nothing’! The proportion seeing ‘financial compensation’ or ‘expenses’ as
attractive was relatively small.

It should be noted that, because they were not asked this question, the table excludes the
25% of all tenants who ‘strongly agreed’ with the sentiment that under-occupiers should
move to smaller homes.

Pensioner only households occupying homes with three or more bedrooms: incentives that
could persuade them to make a ‘trading down move’

Factor                                                                           % of total
Base size                                                                         (1,879)
                                                                                     %
 Nothing                                                                            73
 To be able to choose the location of my home                                       10
 A smaller property in the same area                                                 6
 Don't know                                                                          6
 Ground floor accommodation                                                          5
 Financial compensation                                                              4
 Expenses                                                                            4
 Provision for removals                                                              3
 Reasonable rent                                                                     3
 Access to support services                                                          1
 If it was a bungalow                                                                1
 Nothing - We are already overcrowded                                                1
 Additional services ie quicker repairs and maintenance response times               1
Notes:

1. Table excludes tenants who ‘strongly agreed’ with the proposition that under-occupiers
should make ‘trading down’ moves.

2. Since this was a multiple response question, the responses sum to more than 100%




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Conclusions
Only a relatively small proportion of tenants are looking to move in the near future, and only
a third of those who would like to move in the next two years are confident that they will
actually be able to do so. Those expecting to move tend to be younger people with families.
The modest association between expectation to move and lack of employment may be
characteristic of a point in time when very few tenant house moves anticipated in the near
future are expected as involving house purchase.

For those who do expect to move in the short to medium term, the factors most commonly
motivating this aspiration are concerned with property attributes – notably the need for a
larger home. For those not expecting to be able to fulfil an aspiration to move within this
timeframe the barriers are most often financial constraints obstructing house purchase.

Among parents of ‘still at home’ sons and daughters (and excluding don’t knows) almost half
expect their children to move direct to social renting. Considering these responses alongside
tenant views on the type of housing they believe their sons and daughters would like, it
appears that only a very small proportion would be expected to enter social housing only for
lack of alternatives.




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Existing Tenants Survey 2008
Tenant mobility and aspirations

The Existing Tenants Survey is a large and comprehensive survey of social housing tenants.
The survey was undertaken between August and October 2008 for tenants, and February to
April 2009 for shared owners.

This report focuses on the survey findings that relate to whether tenants are looking to move
in the future and, if so, what type of home they would be looking to move to.




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