Housing crisis bigger issue than crime or immigration: ONS

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As a general election looms people in the UK remain more concerned about housing than immigration or crime according to the latest social trends survey from the Office of National Statistics.

It found that more than six out of 10 (64%) people cited housing as one of the most important issues facing the UK today, with the number concerned about this problem continuing to rise. This is a significant increase on the 54% that reporting housing as a major issue when the ONS first asked this question in Autumn 2022.

This comes as more than four out of 10 (41%) of the adults surveyed said their mortgage or rent had increased in the last six months. This compares to just 27% reporting housing costs increases when this question was first asked by the ONS, in March 2022. 

In addition, around a third of the adults surveyed (36%) reported difficulties affording their rent or mortgage payment — a figure that has also risen (from 30%) from the March 2022 survey. 

Overall the ONS survey found that housing remains the fourth most important issue for adults surveyed, behind the cost of living (cited by 89% of respondents), the NHS (88%), and the economy (70%). 

The ONS said these have consistently been the top three issues reported since October 2022. However housing is deemed more of an issue than climate change and the environment (60%), crime (60%), and immigration (56%).

This social trends survey was conducted between 24 April to 6 May this year.