Issues of Concern

An overall increase in prices over the last few years has contributed to the city’s housing still being largely unaffordable for the majority of residents.

Many households have to forgo a combination of housing space, quality and other forms of expenditure to ensure they can meet their housing costs. The city has one of the largest private rented sectors in the country comprised of 34,000 homes (28%), with 2 in 7 of the city’s households now renting privately. However, high rental costs, poorer than average housing quality and pockets of overcrowding (the highest outside London) result in additional housing challenges for the city.

The city is an expensive place to live. The Council’s Assessment of Affordable Housing Need Report 2012[1] identified that almost 88,000 Brighton & Hove households (72%) can not afford market housing without spending a disproportionate level of their income on housing or some form of subsidy.

Prices continue to rise, with a one bed flat on the open market costing 7.5 times median household income[2] and three bed houses more than 14.5 times median income. The average monthly rent on a one bed flat in the city at the end of June 2015 was £874 with a three bed house costing £1,500 per month. When comparing these payments to mortgage affordability we find that the rent payment on a one bed flat is similar to the payment of a mortgage of around £149,500 requiring an income of £46,000 to finance and for a three bed home, the rent is equivalent to a mortgage of around £257,000 requiring a household income of £79,000 to finance[3]. Half of all Brighton & Hove households earn less than £28,240 per annum.

The Assessment of Affordable Housing Need Report 2012 estimates that 22,132 households are likely to be in housing need and unable to afford buying or renting in the residential housing market by 2017.[4] In addition, 59% of those in need (10,642 households) are only able to afford social rented housing rather than affordable rented.

After factoring in the expected supply of new affordable housing it leaves an unmet housing need of 17,403 affordable homes by 2017.[5] However, the City Plan[6] demonstrates that the city has the capacity to develop around 13,200 homes in the period 2010 to 2030 (660 per annum). This is less than the ‘objectively assessed’ housing requirements for the city which have been assessed at 30,120 new homes based on demographic, economic forecasts and affordable housing needs evidence.


[1] Assessment of Affordable Housing Need Report 2012:

[2] Median household income is £28,340 per annum. Brighton & Hove Assessment of Affordable Housing Need Report 2012:

[3] Housing Market Report, 2015 Q2:

[4] 7,890 is the backlog of households in need and 14,243 is the figure for newly arising households in need

[5] Calculation: 22,132 affordable need to 2012-17 less 4,729 met from current and new affordable housing stock 2012-17 leaves 17,403 unmet need

[6] City Plan: