Wolverhampton:Housing Profile Selection

Housing – A Summary

The way people live influences the way services are delivered. Changing family types need different services, for example if there are more single person households, more smaller homes are needed. Conversely, areas with high numbers of large families need homes with four or more bedrooms. Likewise the distribution of pensioner households affects the level of services for older people required in each area. A key priority for action in the City Strategy is to develop diverse and welcoming neighbourhoods with good quality housing – because housing choice needs to keep pace with rising aspirations if the city is to retain younger people and also address homelessness. The Housing Strategy supports the City Strategy in the delivery of housing and housing related services that meet needs, offer choice, solve problems and help to create attractive, sustainable neighbourhoods.

The Housing Needs Survey 2007 is the most in-depth piece of housing needs information that has been produced for Wolverhampton in recent years. It is based on a sample survey and secondary data including 2001 Census and 2004 ONS population projections and includes information on household types and sizes and predictions for the types of housing that will be required based on this information. Key findings that impacted upon the housing market were:

Out-migration of younger and economically active households;

An ageing population with increasing care and support needs.
The C3 Housing Market Assessment , 2008, was a regional price of work that provided predictions for future housing requirements in the city, and findings for Wolverhampton were based on the Housing Needs Study 2007. This along with demographic data, information from Homes in the City (Housing Register for Wolverhampton) and wider evidence from the local housing market, shapes Wolverhamptons aim to build housing that will help to create a balanced housing market that meets needs and helps Wolverhampton to grow. The new Housing Strategy for Wolverhampton, covering 2013-2018, sets out proposed proportions for house building by type and tenure, based upon information about housing need and understanding of recent changes to the housing market in the city. The greatest need is for family housing, there is little need for 1 bed flats however building some smaller units, particularly bungalows, is encouraged in order to meet the needs of older residents.
Affordable Housing
The Housing Needs Study 2007 provides information on affordability, both in private rented and owner occupied properties in Wolverhampton. Affordability was highlighted as being a problem in Wolverhampton for those renting and buying, particularly for newly forming households and first time buyers. Since the 2007 study, local housing markets have changed considerably and house prices have fallen across the city, however, affordability remains a problem as local wages have not risen and due to a rise in unemployment which will have impacted on the income of many households across the city. The most up to date indication of affordability comes from the 13/14 Housing Market Briefing .

The latest Indices of Deprivation (2010) indicates that Wolverhampton is more deprived than it was three years ago. This represents a relative decline, from the 28th most deprived to the 20th most deprived (out of 326 local authorities) and moves Wolverhampton from being in the 8% most deprived authorities to the 6% most deprived. The latest IMD report shows that levels of deprivation in the city continue to rise. Since 2004 Wolverhampton’s overall IMD rank has dropped from 35th to 20th most deprived in England. This change takes Wolverhampton from being in the 10% most deprived areas in England in 2004 to the 6% most deprived in 2010. The Barriers to housing and services is a domain or indicator used as part of the overall Index of Multiple Deprivation. For this domain, the top 3 most deprived LSOA’s which experience barriers to housing and services are located in Oxley, Bushbury North and an LSOA which straddles ST.Peter’s and Bushbury South. Compared to 2007, 147 LSOA’s in Wolverhampton appear to have a worse rank for barriers to housing and services, which appears to be due to the shift in house price affordability since 2007.

Average House Prices – Since 2007, Wolverhampton house prices have continued to decrease. In 2007, Wolverhampton’s average house price was £138, 322 and in 2012, this is now £132484. Sandwell have seen an increase in price since 2009, as have Walsall, however house price averages for both are still lower than in 2007. Conversely Dudley’s average house price is almost equal to that of 2007. House prices continue to follow a long established trend of being higher in the Western side of the city, and Tettenhall was one of the areas of the city that were viewed most positively in the Place Survey 2009.
Council Tax Bands – This dataset, drawn from Council Tax valuation lists, has been provided by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG). Properties in Band A are those which were valued at under £40,000 as of 1st April 1991. Council tax band B includes those homes which are over £40,000 and up to £52,000 In Wolverhampton, the housing stock is extremely fragmented. At a lower super output level, there are some LSOAs that do not have any properties in Band A, whereas some have LSOA’s consist of properties which are all in Band A. This information is useful and underpins other pieces of information about the housing stock, house prices, and housing more generally. The data provide information on the number of domestic properties and how they are distributed across the different Council Tax Bands.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) monitors mortgage lending in the UK and provides estimates on future mortgage trends. Having declined significantly since mid 2007, mortgage lending has stabilised. However, it is still much more difficult for households to arrange a mortgage than was the case before the credit crunch and lack of mortgage availability is cited as a major limitation on the recovery of the housing market nationally.
National figures for mortgage lending are skewed by levels of higher lending in the London area and the South East, where wages are higher. There is a significant disparity in mortgage lending across the UK, with Northern regions and first time buyers being hardest hit.

Housing by Type and Tenure

The way people live influences the way services are delivered. Changing family types need different services, for example if there are more single person households, more smaller homes are needed. Conversely, areas with high numbers of large families need homes with four or more bedrooms. Likewise the distribution of pensioner households affects the level of services for older people required in each area. A key priority for action in the City Strategy is to develop diverse and welcoming neighbourhoods with good quality housing – because housing choice needs to keep pace with rising aspirations if the city is to retain younger people and also address homelessness. The Housing Strategy supports the City Strategy in the delivery of housing and housing related services that meet needs, offer choice, solve problems and help to create attractive, sustainable neighbourhoods.


Tenure and Census 2011 – The 2001 census showed that the % of households who own their own property was 61%. The % of households who either live rent-free, or have other arrangements was 2%. The % of households who rent their accommodation from the Council was 25% and the % of households who rent their accommodation from a Private Landlord 13%. The 2011 Census data has now been released and the data shows that housing tenure within Wolverhampton has changed over the last 10 years. The 2011 Census shows that the majority of homes in the city are owner occupied (57%), a slight decrease since 2001 (-3.9%), followed by 22% who rent from the Council (-2.6%). The percentage of residents who privately rent has doubled since 2001 from 6.6% to 13%.

Total Dwelling Stock – The number of dwellings in an area is a fundamental statistic, providing the context for other statistics relating to dwelling stock. It enables comparisons to be made between areas and the time series enables change in the dwelling stock to be monitored. In Wolverhampton in 2013, the estimated total dwelling stock was 107040. Wolverhampton has the lowest total dwelling stock of all of the Black Country local authorities. Between 2001 and 2011, there was a 2.45% increase in Wolverhampton’s dwelling stock, compared to a 7.45% increase for England as a whole.

Total dwelling stock

Homelessness – This is more than just not having a roof over one’s head. The effect that homelessness has over someone’s life is detrimental; it can affect their health, employment, learning and whole well-being. Therefore, it is of key importance that Wolverhampton works to prevent homelessness and offers services and support to households in housing need. Over the last few years Wolverhampton has seen some real success in relation to reducing homelessness, increasing homelessness prevention and offering housing related support to more households, which has meant we have seen a reduction of homelessness. However with welfare reforms, a housing shortage and high levels of unemployment we are bracing ourselves for an increase in households in housing need. The Rate of homelessness prevention and relief per 1000 households shows the number of households who have been prevented from becoming homeless. For Wolverhampton the rate per 1000 is 25.5 for Apr 2012 – Mar 2013. This is the highest rate for any of the Black Country Authorities

Work and Housing

Employment – The effects of the recession upon the city will have an impact on choices that people make, for example first time buyers, or people in jobs which have been effected by the economic downturn. The economic change in the city can be shown for example by comparing the number of people out of work. In January 2008 4.7% (7,146 people) of people were claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA). This has steadily increased, and by Dec 2012 7.5% were claiming JSA. To see the rate of change please click on Jobseekers’ Allowance (JSA). The gap in JSA claims has widened between Wolverhampton and the UK average, although rises or falls in the UK rate as a whole tend to be closely mirrored within Wolverhampton. JSA claimant rates are not evenly distributed amonst groups of people based on age or geographical location. Some groups and areas have much higher claimant rates than others. Youth unemployment was 9.3% in January 2008 (or 2195 18-24 year olds), and in Jan 2016 the value was 5.9. In terms of geography, the JSA data shows that there are two lower super output area’s (LSOA’s which are small clusters of housing) in the city in which between 36 to 40% of people aged 18 – 24 are claiming JSA. The life choices and housing choices made by this group will be influenced by their earning potential. The Employment Rate for Wolverhampton has also been declining. In 2007 the Employment Rate was 63.6% and in in 2007 this has dropped to 60% in 2010, which is much lower than the England averagae (70.4%).

Median Pay – The gross median full-time pay in Wolverhampton has risen locally, in contrast to trends for England as a whole. Median pay is where 50% of the employed population are above the number, and 50% of the employed population are below it. This can be used as a good marker of relative levels of pay in different sectors. Comparing 2007 and 2012, pay for full-time employees rose by £2,648, slightly higher than the £2,320 rise for England. Wolverhampton, in 2012, had the highest full-time earnings of any Black Country local authority, for both males and females. The gap in median earnings with England has narrowed since 2007.

Lower Quartile – (bottom 25%) House Price to Lower Quartile Earnings Ratio
Work and Housing – The table below indicates travel to work patterns, and shows that 65% of Wolverhampton residents work and live in Wolverhampton, whilst 35% travel to neighbouring areas.