Housing sector

The social housing sector in good financial health despite the challenges of the pandemic

The social housing regulator today (27 May) published the results of its latest quarterly survey of the financial health of registered providers. The report covers the period from January 1, 2021 to March 31, 2021.

The sector remained financially healthy over the quarter and the year despite the pressures caused by the pandemic. This boosts investor confidence, with good access to finance to invest in new and existing homes. Agreed credit facilities increased to £113bn at the end of the year. This included £15bn of new funding agreed during the year, the highest on record and sufficient to fund industry interest charges, loan repayments and capital investment commitments for more than 12 months.

Capitalized repair and maintenance expenditure increased significantly for the second consecutive quarter to £580m, although the figure was low at the end of 2020. Suppliers reported continued delays due to lockdown restrictions; despite this, actual spending was heading towards levels seen before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

Investment in housing supply during the quarter was £2.8bn, down 18% from the previous quarter and down from forecast for both projects contractual and in total. The service providers reported delays in the general plan, and a slowdown in work attributable to the latest confinement and the strengthening of security measures on the sites.

The number of unsold properties fell during the quarter and total vendor asset sales reached £1.9 billion. This is the highest quarterly total since 2009.

Despite the uncertain economic climate, revenue collection and tenant arrears improved during the quarter. Losses from cancellations remained significantly higher than in previous years, although most vendors reported that their levels of arrears, rental collections and cancellations were all in line with or above their business plan assumptions. business.

Forecasts for the next 12 months indicate that performance and plans continue to return to levels seen before the coronavirus pandemic.

Will Perry, Chief Strategy Officer at HSRmentioned:

The social housing sector remains financially strong and continues to face the challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic, foreseeing an increase in maintenance expenditure and investment in new and existing housing.

Going forward, suppliers face a series of growing pressures, particularly on capital expenditure. They will need to maintain strong risk management and financial control and communicate effectively with investors so that they can continue to meet the needs of current and future tenants.

Notes to Editors

  • The quarterly survey provides a regular source of information on the financial health of registered private providers, including their liquidity position.

  • The quarterly survey returns summarized in the report cover the period from January 1, 2021 to March 31, 2021 and the latest report is based on regulatory returns from 215 PRPs and groups of PRPs that own or manage more than 1,000 homes. The survey Data on revenue collection, including rent collection, was first collected in 2013.

  • The Social Housing Regulator promotes a viable, efficient and well-governed social housing sector capable of providing housing that meets a range of needs. It does this by putting in place strong economic regulations focused on governance, financial sustainability and value for money that maintain lender confidence and protect taxpayers. It also sets consumption standards and can intervene if these standards are violated and there is a significant risk of serious harm to tenants or potential tenants.

  • For press office contact details, see the Media Inquiries page. For general queries please email enquiries@rsh.gov.uk or call 0300 124 5225.