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The purpose of the survey was to provide an estimate of the condition and energy efficiency/performance of the housing stock in Wales. The survey covers all types of housing and all tenures; but not vacant properties. BRE carried out the survey on behalf of the Welsh Government and was responsible for the management, surveyor field force and administration of the WHCS and for the production of this technical report.

The WHCS is one aspect of the Welsh Governments ‘Housing Conditions Evidence Programme’ which is a strategic programme of investment in evidence about the housing condition and energy efficiency / performance of housing in Wales. It will help support future policy and investment decisions made by both the Welsh Government and local agencies. 

In particular data collected from the survey is used by the Welsh Government to monitor the changing condition of the housing stock in Wales, and to measure work being undertaken to the stock. The WHCS also provides a major source of information for the Welsh Government for the development of and monitoring of housing policies directed at the repair, improvement and energy efficiency of the housing stock, covering both the private and public sectors.

The WHCS is designed to collect a range of information on the housing stock, including dwelling conditions in relation to the Housing, Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) and the Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS), the state of repair and provision of amenities, energy efficiency statistics, the potential for future energy improvements as well as recording other attributes such as plot and the local environment.

The survey takes its sample from the National Survey for Wales (NSW) which is run on behalf of the Welsh Government by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

A sample of 3,286 addresses was selected from eligible cases from the National Survey for Wales where a consent to a physical survey had been gained.  The sample was selected to cover a range of tenures and dwelling types across Wales and all were occupied at the time of selection. Prior to the WHCS taking place all addresses had a household interview conducted as part of the National Survey for Wales. This included questions on the household income and household costs to help calculate Fuel Poverty statistics.

44 surveyors working to 4 regional managers were recruited by BRE, attended a surveyor briefing in June 2017 and began fieldwork on the WHCS in August 2017. Fieldwork lasted for 9 months and concluded as planned at the end of April 2018. Surveyors carried out an internal and external assessment of the property as well as recording information about the plot and local area. The data was collected using a digital pen and a paper survey form, printed with Anoto technology. Survey data was uploaded to a website hosted by BRE where complex validation was undertaken and photographs added.

There were no major incidents during the fieldwork period and a total of 2,552 full surveys were completed across the 22 local authorities of Wales. A conversion rate of 77.7% was achieved by the BRE surveyors and a response (consent rate) of 58% by the National Survey for Wales Interviewers.

The survey data was validated, processed and run through data Models by BRE before being sent to Welsh Government in August 2018 for analysis and reporting.