This is the latest monitor in a series which is produced on an annual basis by the Corporate Research and Information Unit. Amongst other things, it is used to support our Local Housing Strategy. It updates the information sources used in the June 2014 monitor. New data sources will be added to the monitor as they become available.
Click here to download the research bulletin (June 2015) (PDF, 2.86Mb)
- There are 56,650 dwellings in Conwy County Borough.
- Over one third of the total housing stock is detached properties and this is very high when compared to national figures.
- In March 2014 there were 6,553 dwellings within the social housing sector. This was 127 for every 1,000 households, which was significantly below the all-Wales level of 175 for every 1,000 households. Conwy County Borough has a much higher proportion of sheltered and extra care housing in its social housing stock than the Welsh average. There was a net gain of 47 social housing dwellings between March 2013 and March 2014.
- Less than 15% of social housing stock is in one-bedroomed accommodation, which limits the opportunities for tenants to downsize if they are affected by caps on housing benefits due to under occupation in their existing accommodation (the so-called ‘bedroom tax’).
- In the last 10 years the average completion rate for new dwellings and conversions has been around 285 units per year. New build rates may not have kept pace with demand.
- There are relatively low levels of social renting within the housing market in Conwy County Borough and higher than average levels of private renting and home ownership (particularly for those who own their homes outright).
- The total number of socially rented dwellings is the same as it was in March 2004.
- Conwy CB has a higher proportion of HMOs in its housing stock than the national average, but a lower rate of licensed HMOs. By March 2014 the County Borough has licensed only 15.2% of its 1,300 HMOs, whereas across Wales 39.4% of HMOs were licensed.
- In 2013 there were 51,650 households in Conwy County Borough. Household numbers are expected to increase by 2,400 (4.6%) between mid-2013 and mid-2023. Average household size is expected to fall from 2.19 to 2.15. The biggest factor in this change is the expected growth in the number of single person households.
- Most single person households are pensioners living alone. In 2013 there were 9,050 lone pensioner households in Conwy County Borough– this was 17.5% of all households, and 51% of all single person households. As life expectancy increases and the large post-World War II baby-boomer generation reaches pension age we can expect to see the number of lone pensioner households increase.
- For each year since April 2007 (the start date for the current local development plan) the provision of new dwellings has fallen below the annual figure needed to reach the identified requirement of 6,800 additional dwellings by 2022. In the 8 years to April 2015 only 2,136 additional dwellings have been provided – if the requirement was shared equally across that period, that figure should be closer to 3,600. That is a shortfall of about -1,500 or -41% below target.
- The number of applicants on the CCBC / Cartrefi Conwy joint waiting list has been on a generally upward trend in the last five years, even after obvious drops in numbers due to after reviews of the register at the end of each year.
- In April 2015 there were 85 households on the First Steps register. The majority of households who have made a First Steps application contain children (60%) – well above the Conwy average for all households where only 24.1% of households contain children. A third of applicant households do not currently have their own homes and are living with friends or family.
- The numbers of homelessness cases fell from their peak in 2004-05 through to the beginning of 2010. Numbers began to rise again through 2010-12, but started to fall again in 2012, which follows the Welsh trend.
- Overall, Conwy County Borough tends to have a lower rate of homelessness than the Welsh average.
- However there is a much higher rate of homeless households housed in temporary accommodation than is the Welsh average, though the gap has narrowed in the last four years. The latest available data (Dec 2014) shows the rate for Conwy CB below the Welsh level for the first time in 10 years, but whether this will be sustained over a longer period is not yet known.
- 50% of all households in temporary accommodation contain dependent children. The rate for homeless households with children who were living in temporary accommodation has been significantly above the Welsh average for most of the last ten years, though it has shown a considerable downward trend in the past two or three years.
- Around 2,200 household in the County Borough could be classed as overcrowded under the all-rooms definition, and around 1,400 under the bedrooms definition. Rates of overcrowding are slightly lower than across Wales as a whole and considerably below England & Wales levels.
- The average (mean) house price in Conwy CB has fallen by -2.6% in the last year – the recent rise in national house prices which is reported in the media is very much driven by price increases in London and the south east of England.
- At the median level, the income to houseprice ratio for Conwy CB is 1:6:25. Even with a 20% deposit – which brings the ration down to 1:5.0 – housing at the median price is out of the reach of people with average household income.
- In 2014/15 average weekly social housing rent levels in Conwy County Borough were about £1.64 higher than across Wales as a whole. Since the previous year, rents have risen at about the rate as the national average.
- Numbers of housing benefit claimants have been on a generally slightly downward trend, and in February 2015 the total number of recipients was -1.5% lower than a year previously.
- The proportion of those receiving housing benefits who are housed within the private rented sector is much higher in Conwy County Borough than across the country as a whole, and this proportion has been rising steadily over the past 6 years.
- In February 2015, housing benefit payments were reduced for 547 recipients due to the spare room subsidy/bedroom tax. This was 12.0% of all housing benefit recipients within the social rented sector – the reduction isn’t applicable to tenants in the private rented sector.
- The first figures for the new council tax reduction scheme show a drop in the number of claimants between the end of the old system and the introduction of the new one, and the trend appears to be continuing downward.
- Though the number of mortgage possession actions shows a five-year downward trend, landlord possession actions (against tenants of rented properties) have not seen the same sustained decline – perhaps as a result in changes to housing benefits entitlements and payment processes.
- Conwy County Borough has a lower proportion of properties in the A and B council tax bands than is the national average. This implies there are proportionally fewer of the lowest value properties within the dwelling stock than is found across Wales as a whole.
Next update - autumn 2018.
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