An error in the processing of cross-border flows between Wales and England has resulted in the under-estimation of Wales’ net population by 2028 of some 65,000 people, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The Welsh government has been preparing its draft National Development Framework (NDF) since October 2018 based on 2018-based projections, which was published in October 2019 indicating a decline in the Welsh population from 2025 onwards. But the revised projections now show a growth in the Welsh population by some 2.7% up to 2028 and 3.7% up to 2043, which will place greater pressure on demand for housing, including properties in the PRS.
Further details on how the corrected population projections should be interpreted at a local authority level are to be published before the end of this month and will show a higher level of growth in the number of households compared to the projections published in March 2020.
The size of a household varies between local authorities, and has declined dramatically across the board, but typically ranges from between 2.15 people and 2.40 people and so the underestimation of the number of households could be some 30,000 nationally homes up to 2028.
It was announced last week that the NDF, initially due to be published in September 2020, has encountered a delay in its publication until February 2021 in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This delay should be used as a real opportunity for the revised statistics to be full understood and reflected through an increased housing need,” said Nick Heard, senior planner at Savills.