Nine in ten Scottish households satisfied with their housing

High satisfaction with housing and an increase in home ownership among young people are two of the key findings in this year’s Scottish Household Survey.

In 2018, nine in ten households (90%) reported that they were very or fairly satisfied with their housing while the total number of households in Scotland increased by 13% from 2.19 million households in 1999 to 2.48 million households, the survey has revealed.

Between 2015 and 2018, there has been a decrease of approximately 20,000 private renting households where the HIH is aged 16 to 34. There has been a corresponding increase across this period of approximately 30,000 households aged 16 to 34 who own a property with a mortgage.

The proportion of households in the private rented sector grew steadily from 5% in 1999 (120,000 households) to 15% in 2016 (370,000 households), an increase of a quarter of a million households. The proportion has since dropped slightly to 14% in the latest year (2018) to stand at 340,000 households, a decrease of 30,000 households since 2016.

The percentage of households in the social rented sector declined from 32% in 1999 to 23% in 2007, an estimated drop of 150,000 households, but has remained between 22 and 24% of all households since then.

The percentage of households in owner occupation grew from 61% in 1999 to 66% in 2005, was stable at around 65% and 66% until 2009 but then declined by an estimated 90,000 households between 2009 and 2014 to 60%. The level has since remained around 61% and 62%. Within this, the steady decline in the proportion of younger households aged between 16 and 34 in owner occupation, which fell from 53% in 2009 to 30% in 2014, has reversed recently, rising to 37% in 2018. 

Meanwhile, internet access in homes is high, and continuing to increase, and the gap in connectivity is narrowing between lower and higher income households. Also, 83% of adults living in Scotland believe their neighbourhood is one where people are kind to each other.

Responding to the findings, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “The Scottish Household Survey is a unique opportunity for people to share their views and experiences and help the government understand how people feel about life in Scotland.”

He added: “I am pleased to see the positive trend in the number of households managing well financially in recent years and that the majority are happy with their housing and neighbourhoods. It was also interesting to see those who use our local services report to be more satisfied than non-users.   

“The gap in home internet access is also decreasing and work is ongoing to ensure this continues so that all citizens can benefit from the advantages that access to the internet brings.

“Climate change remains a concern and people are clearly worried about the negative impacts it will have. It is one of the Scottish Government’s top priorities and this year’s Programme for Government committed Scotland to lead the way in tackling this global emergency.”