The Department for Communities and Local Government’s (DCLG) 2011 based household projections
(published in April 2013) are the latest official household projections for England and take account of
the 2011 census results. As suggested in planning guidance, they are the starting point estimates for
looking at household growth and housing requirements.
Producing projections at a time when established trends have changed significantly is challenging.
Those using the projections should be aware of their inevitable limitations and use them appropriately.
3. The key issue is whether the trends that have been projected forward in the latest projections are likely to continue unchanged.
There are two reasons why those trends may not continue unchanged:
– Increased international migration in the first decade of this century may have been responsible for a
significant proportion of the changes to previous trends in household formation patterns. The
further increases in international migration that would be needed for this factor to continue to apply are perhaps unlikely. (A continuation of recent rates of international migration should not have a further effect on household formation rates.)
– It seems likely that the 2011 census results were influenced by both the economic downturn and the
effects of a long period of poor housing affordability. If conditions in the housing market and the
economy more generally improve there may be a return towards previous trends.
Both of these factors suggest that planning on the basis of the latest projections could lead to an under provision of housing.