STUDY OBJECTIVE To examine whether changes in environmental housing quality influence the wellbeing of movers taking into account other dimensions of housing quality and sociodemographic factors. DESIGN Cross sectional telephone survey. Associations between changes in satisfaction with 40 housing quality indicators (including environmental quality) and an improvement in self rated health (based on a standardised question) were analysed by multiple logistic regression adjusting for sociodemographic variables. Objective measures of wellbeing or environmental quality were not available. SETTING North western region of Switzerland including the city of Basel. PARTICIPANTS Random sample of 3870 subjects aged 18-70 who had moved in 1997, participation rate 55.7%. RESULTS A gain in self rated health was most strongly predicted by an improved satisfaction with indicators related to the environmental housing quality measured as "location of building" (adjusted odds ratio (OR) =1.58, 95% confidence intervals (CI) =1.28, 1.96) and "perceived air quality" (OR=1.58, 95% CI=1.24, 2.01) and to the apartment itself, namely "suitability" (OR=1.77, 95% CI=1.41, 2.23), "relationship with neighbours" (OR=1.46, 95% CI=1.19, 1.80) and "noise from neighbours" (OR=1.32, 95% CI=1.07, 1.64). The destination of moving and the main reason to move modified some of the associations with environmental indicators. CONCLUSION An improvement in perceived environmental housing quality was conducive to an increase in wellbeing of movers when other dimensions of housing quality and potential confounders were taken into account.