Housing market analysis

COVID-19, housing and the housing market: synopsis of events and evidence to date, with a focus on Northern Ireland (published October 2020)

In summer 2020, the Housing Executive Research Unit set out to examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on housing, both in Northern Ireland and, more widely, in the UK and Europe. The resulting report is a synopsis of research findings, news reports, analysis and commentary collated over a number of weeks in June, July and August 2020 and based on the most up-to-date information available at the time of writing.  

COVID-19 housing and the housing market

Brexit and the Northern Ireland housing market

In recognition that Brexit is a complex issue that has the potential to have wide-ranging consequences for numerous day-to-day matters, the Housing Executive’s Research Unit commissioned RSM to scope the potential impacts on Northern Ireland’s housing market, based on data on current travel patterns, the housing market and perceptions of key agencies.

This research was intended to help the Housing Executive and other stakeholders to understand perceptions and plan for any possible housing supply and demand issues that may arise in certain locations as a result of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, and the research drew on existing literature, interviews with migrant groups and estate agents, a survey of social landlords and analysis of data on migration and the drivers of the housing market.  

The report was produced in July 2019, following research conducted earlier in the year. Therefore, additional data produced since spring 2019 was not included in the analysis. Furthermore, the study did not model the precise impacts of the different Brexit scenarios (such as ‘no deal’ Brexit).

Brexit and the Northern Ireland housing market

Housing market analysis

Housing market analysis is an important planning tool for housing development. It takes account of current housing market trends and identifies potential future imbalances in the housing market. Housing market analysis reports therefore provide a detailed and rigorous inter-tenure analysis of the housing market to complement our housing need assessment.

Two themes run through housing market analysis:

  • The need to base local housing analysis on functional market areas that have some intrinsic rationale rather than simply on the basis of administrative boundaries;
  • The need to integrate analysis of housing need with a more general investigation on how housing markets work. This should be based on a more accurate and fuller understanding of consumer choice and the impact of market responses to economic investment.

Mapping Northern Ireland’s Housing Market Areas, 2018

We commissioned the 2018 Housing Market Areas study to enhance understanding of the concept of functional housing market areas, and to update the suite of 11 broad housing market areas (HMAs) that were originally defined in 2009 (see below).

About the report

  • The updated Housing Market Areas (HMAs) set out in the report are primarily intended to provide the Housing Executive with a spatial framework to support its analysis of local housing systems and its internal strategy development processes.

  • However, the HMAs should also assist local authorities to more clearly understand the broad HMA of which their local area is part. This in turn should help to clarify which local authorities should look to collaborate in planning for housing development across the broad HMA.

Mapping Northern Ireland’s Housing Market Areas 2018 report

The mapping of Housing Market Areas in Northern Ireland was first carried out in 2009, and established eleven functional housing market geographies. You can download the report below: 

Northern Ireland housing market areas (publication date April 2010)

Following on from this study, a Belfast Metropolitan Area Housing Market Analysis pilot was concluded in 2011 and Housing Market Analysis reports for other areas of Northern Ireland were also published:

Migrant Workers and the housing market (2014)

In 2013 the Northern Ireland Housing Executive commissioned a study to examine the effects of migrant workers on two housing markets.  The research involved undertaking two housing market analyses, using these to compare and contrast the impact of migrant workers on the local housing markets of Dungannon and Larne district council areas.

Migrant Workers and the Housing Market Report.

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