Plumbing training apprentices may be relieved to learn that some experts are calling for the government to place a greater emphasis on both new and existing homes.

Richard Capie, director of policy and practice at the Chartered Institute of Housing, said that the UK should concentrate on maintaining the quality of available social housing, as well as building more in order to meet continuing demand.

"We must not switch focus at the expense of new supply - it cannot be a case of either/or," he stated.

Mr Capie's comments follow the release of a survey of more than 21,000 tenants in England by the Tenant Services Authority (TSA), which showed that almost three-quarters of those renting social housing plan to stay within the sector for the next ten years, rendering the maintenance of existing properties a high priority.

The TSA also reported that 81 per cent of tenants are satisfied with their landlords, which reflects the significant investment that has been made to improve existing homes over the past decade.