As part of its remit, NHPAU will consider the implications of the Government’s national ambitions for long-term market affordability and housing supply on the level and broad distribution of future house building, and disseminate and help Government and the regions develop consistent methodological practice in assessing market housing affordability. NHPAU will also commission research on issues affecting affordability.
The NHPAU Board has recently commissioned CCHPR to undertake research on the availability and quality of data sources relevant to the work of the NHPAU. This includes, among others, data on individual income, household income, earnings, house prices, mortgages, property characteristics, second homes, vacancies, rents, household characteristics, construction, planning, migration and population.
The research project not only covers an assessment of the quality, coverage and comparability of the various data sources but also information on licensing arrangements, access, cost and restrictions on use. Several outputs are required including briefing notes on the various data sources which can be used by members of the unit, a publication and a formal write-up of the research findings. Attendance at key meetings with data suppliers is also required.
Due to the dispersed nature of the data on affordability and related issues, it will be important to ensure that all relevant stakeholders are consulted, and that the data held by these organisations is fully considered.
A good knowledge of the existing data sources related to market housing affordability, and their strengths and weaknesses, is essential. It is also important for the research to understand the comparability of different data sources and highlight areas where there is a lack of good quality comprehensive data. This will allow the most appropriate data to be selected for each piece of work undertaken or commissioned by NHPAU researching the affordability of market housing.