Home Truths: what does housing in your local area really look like?

Rob Cowley, 11 August 2021

Housing associations have always been unified by a single goal – to ensure everyone in the country can live in a quality home that they can afford. At the NHF we are committed to driving the delivery of affordable homes by supporting housing associations with the tools they need to help end the housing crisis and improve people’s lives.

Developed by the NHF from publicly available data, our recently updated toolkit, Home Truths, is designed to help support your wider influencing work. It allows you to create customised reports to compare house prices, private rents, affordability, unemployment, empty homes and second homes.

You can select local authority areas to compare with the region and national averages, and you can personalise the selected data with the name and logo of your organisation. The report can freely be used in publications and other materials aimed at demonstrating the local housing market, and why the work of housing associations is vital.

As you might expect, the results range depending on the area and local circumstances.

  • The mean average house price in England (£309,678) is 10 times mean annual earnings.
  • The mean average house price is six times mean annual earnings in the North East (£167,269).
  • This ranges to 12 times mean annual earnings in the South East (£388,040).

However, the unemployment rate in the North East is 5.6% (the highest regional average in England) compared with 3.1% in the South East (the lowest).

Home Truths can also be used to demonstrate variations between local authority areas within the same region. For example, in the North West, monthly mean average private rent is £629, but ranges from £880 in Trafford to £469 in Burnley. These compare with the mean average of £843 across England. In the West Midlands, mean average house prices range from £366,295 in Stratford-on-Avon (12 times earnings) to £134,861 in Stoke-on-Trent (five times earnings).

The latest version of our tool is free to use, incorporates changes to local authority names and boundaries, and has been updated with the most up to date data, which in most cases is 2019/20. Please contact me if you have any questions or feedback about the tool – it is always helpful to see examples of it being used.