HOUSING AND MOBILITY

AuthorJ. K. Marshall, R. D. Cramond
DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9485.1962.tb00377.x
Publication Date01 Feb 1962
HOUSING
AND
MOBILITY
By
R.
D.
CRAMOND
AND
J.
L.
MARSHALL
I
Object
of
the
Study
LITTLE
is known about the mobility of Scottish households, in terms
of
how often people move house, and we set out to explore and
describe methods by which statistics of turnover of houses could be
obtained; to present sample figures obtained by these methods; and
to see whether the admittedly tentative results pointed to differences
between different forms of tenure. Does being an owner rather than a
tenant help
or
retard movement?
Our
object was therefore limited to the study
of
ways of obtaining
statistics and to the presentation of some hitherto unpublished results
which might be of use in research on long term housing programmes
in economic
'
growth points
'
and
elsewhere.
We
did not attempt to
examine the optimum direction
or
amount of movement.
For
example
we looked at the amount of movement which results from the build-
ing
of
new houses: we did not go on to
ac;k
whether the houses
were being built in places where the extra accommodation would
be
matched by long term employment opportunities.
11
The
Sources
of
Housing Provision
Outside the New Towns there are by and large only threc ways
of
obtaining
a
house in Scotland: to rent one from
a
local authority,
to rent one
from
a
private landlord,
or
to buy one.'
For
those who
can buy,
or
get tenancy
of
a
council house, both new and old houses
are
available, but
for
those who rent from
a
private landlord only
old houses may be had,
as
new building
for
letting by private owners
is
confined to the very small output by housing associations (other
than the Scottish Special Housing Association), which has amounted
to
only one third
of
one per cent. of the
total
Scottish housing output
since the
war.
Insofar
as
new houses are occupied by households which are
already occupying separate2 accommodation, they contribute
to
The Scottish Special Housing Asscoiation own well over
50.000
houses.
but as their tenants are chosen by the local authorities they
may
he included
in the local authority sector.
Movement
by
a family
which
was sharing a house
does
not.
of
course.
create a vacancy.
57
58
R.
D.
CRAMOND AND
J.
L.
MARSHALL
mobility,
so
that the local authority and owner-occupied sectors have
an
impetus to movement which does not exist in privately rented
houses.
For
this reason, and because we were not able to obtain figures
of turnover
of
privately rented houses from any agency, and had not
the
resources to carry out
a
physical survey, our study was confined
to two
of
the three sectors: i.e. council houses and owner-occupied
houses.
The
Contribution
of
New
House
Birildirig
About 462,000 permanent houses3 were built in Scotland from the
end of 1945 to the end of 1962,
so
that about 30 per cent. of the
total population moved into
a
new house in the 17 years after the end
of the war: less than two per cent per year. Housing output was
low
in the immediate post-war years, and built up
to
a
peak of 39,000
in
1953, but annual output has fallen to about 27,000 in recent years
-again less than two per cent. of total existing stock.
The Government recently announced their intention to increase
housing output in Scotland to 35,000 houses
a
year," but even this
figure would be only a little more than two per cent. of the total
stock.
The direct contribution of new building to mobility seems there-
fore likely to remain of the order
of
two per cent. annually.
A
much
greater expansion seems unlikely, unless there are dramatic changes
in the productivity of the building industry and in the zoning of land
for house building. On the other hand contraction is equally unlikely
as
all
political parties are committed
to
expanding the housing
programme, and even if
an
economic crisis were to inhibit output
in the private sector the
local
authorities in Scotland still provide the
bulk of the housing programme? and they are much less sensitive to
economic trends.6
There were
also
32,000
temporary houses-the
'
prefabs '-but they merely
anticipated later permanent building, and are now being demolished.
Official Report,
House
of
Commons, 4th July,
1963,
Col.
621.
About
83
per cent.
of
total housing output in Scotland since the war was
by local authorities
and
the Scottish Special Housing Association,
12
per cent.
by
private owners, and the balance by New Towns, Government Departments
and Housing Associations other than the
S.S.H.A.
In recent years private
building
has
increased: in
1962
local
authorities and the
S.S.H.A.
built 64
per cent.
of
total output. and private owners
29
per
cent.
(I
Because,
for
example, they can-at least
for
a
time-spread increased
expenditure
on
new building over
all
their housing account, which includes
large numbers
of
houses built at times
of
low costs and low interest rates

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