Some information from the Migration Observatory.
Migrants and Housing in the UK: Experiences and Impacts
28 Oct 2016
The determinants of migrants’ experiences in and impacts on the UK housing system include many factors such as migrants’ characteristics (e.g. age, income level, type of visa, time in the UK), preferences (e.g. household size, renting versus owning, minimum acceptable level of quality of accommodation) and restrictions of access to social housing. Therefore, different types of migrants, with different rights, opportunities and resources are likely to have very different experiences in and impacts on the UK housing system.
Positive net migration may affect house prices and rents. In the case of social housing, where there is no price mechanism, positive net migration can lead to a shortage or increase shortage of social housing. The magnitudes of these impacts depend on the responsiveness of the supply of housing to changes in demand. The impact of immigration on housing can also be expected to vary across local areas with different housing markets and experiencing different scales of migrant inflows and outflows. There can also be important inter-relationships between the owner occupier sector and the private rented sector. For example, the increased demand for rented accommodation may encourage more investors to enter the buy-to-let market, which in turn could increase house prices.
The UK imposes limitations on access to public benefits, including social housing, for some types of migrants. In most instances, recent migrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) cannot claim social housing benefits. Non-eligible migrants may still increase the demand for social housing by displacing the eligible population from the private rental sector.