This paper aims to investigate whether there is a significant problem of housing obsolescence in the UK, and England especially, and if so, what its main dimensions are. Obsolescence is starting to be identified as independent and separable from low demand per se. The UK housing stock is very old and replacement rates are very sluggish. Until recently older housing has been improved and altered to meet changing demands and needs. However, there are a number of reasons to think that obsolescence is now starting to grow as a problem owing to a combination of societal, housing demand and technological factors. Of these, rising expectations of what housing should deliver as part of a consumer society that is growing more affluent may be especially important. New housing supply is also changing as builders start to react to changing demands and new technology. Government policy to raise housing standards, and to manage low demand in housing, may also lie behind incipient obsolescence. The paper is based on an ongoing study which is investigating housing obsolescence through a review of demand and supply tendencies, including case studies in English cities/ city regions. The study aims to construct a set of possible scenarios for future obsolescence and to consider whether obsolescence may represent a barrier to achieving housing and urban policy objectives, especially relating to balancing supply and demand and achieving sustainable communities.