Housing matters and it affects all citizens in the UK. Official statistics on housing and planning play a vital role in helping to inform decision-making of all kinds.

This review and its findings are focussed on the user perspective. We’ve heard a number of users’ views across the UK on the value of these statistics, and how well they meet their needs. This perspective – based on feedback from over 60 users across 43 organisations – has allowed us to build a picture about the statistical landscape for this topic, and the necessary drivers needed to improve these statistics to increase their public value. Value means that the data and statistics are easy to use, remain relevant, and benefit society, helping the public to understand important issues and answer key questions.

Overall, the topic of housing and planning appears to be well served by an impressive volume of official statistics. Our report highlights a number of areas of good practice in statistical production from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We have also identified opportunities for improvements to the statistical landscape at two levels: firstly, improvements to statistical outputs can help shine a light on society’s evolving questions about housing and planning in the UK. Secondly, more strategic coordination and collaboration between statistics producers across the UK, as well as greater engagement with users, can help drive improvements in outputs.

We think that starting from the users’ perspective is an essential prerequisite to improvements. This review provides a user-based stocktake, and it is therefore the starting point for these improvements. We welcome statistics producers being open to feedback and willing to listen to these views. We would be very happy to help facilitate changes, and to that end will continue to engage with producers and users of these statistics.