UCL Department of Geography


Consumer data insights for housing policy

16 February 2023

UCL geographers demonstrate the value of new data sources

Consumer Data

How can new forms of consumer data about people’s interaction with the businesses that provide them with goods and services help us understand UK population dynamics and the development and evaluation of housing policies?

Such issues were the focus of a virtual stakeholder workshop hosted by Dr Rory Coulter (UCL Geography) in collaboration with the UCL-based Consumer Data Research Centre as part of his ESRC-funded project on ‘Modelling Housing Career Trajectories in Great Britain’.

Over 30 participants from universities, local government, housing providers, the private sector and charitable organisations attended the event. Other UCL-based speakers included Dr Justin van Dijk, Meixu Chen, Bin Chi, Dr Joanna Kuleszo and Dr Maurizio Gibin.

The workshop explored a range of topics, including

  1. How a consumer data infrastructure can be created to track local population dynamics across the UK (Dr Justin van Dijk).
  2. The creation of statistical indices to summarise the distances people move home and the impacts such moves have on their housing and neighbourhood quality (Meixu Chen).
  3. How consumer data can be enriched with administrative information on dwelling characteristics to track housing space consumption across UK Local Authorities (Bin Chi).
  4. Using data from rental listings websites to monitor the private rented sector (Dr Joanna Kuleszo)

Taken together, these new approaches may help policymakers address such crucial housing challenges as social inequality, the more equitable and sustainable use of dwelling stock and improving the delivery of public and private sector services.

The workshop also launched an online dashboard for visualising housing-related datasets compiled and created by the UCL-based research team.

This portal allows users to explore population mobility and housing dynamics across UK Local Authority Districts.

Explore your local area and see how it compares with others, including UCL’s home in Camden!

See also