Housing sector

The social housing sector remains financially sound

The social housing regulator today (5 March) released the results of its latest quarterly survey of the financial health of registered providers. The report covers the period from October 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020.

The sector remains financially sound with access to sufficient funding, despite ongoing challenges arising from the coronavirus pandemic.

The sector has good access to funding with total cash and undrawn facilities totaling £35.5 billion at the end of the quarter. The sector continues to attract considerable investment and has raised a total of £113 billion in private funding. This includes £3bn in new installations in the quarter.

Capitalized repairs and maintenance expenditure increased to £455m, a 50% increase on the previous quarter, although it was lower than expected. Suppliers reported continued delays due to lockdown restrictions; however, actual spending was more in line with levels seen before the coronavirus pandemic began.

Investment in housing supply during the quarter was £3.4bn, an increase of 42% on the previous quarter. This figure was higher than expected for contractual schemes. Sales revenue for the quarter totaled £1.7 billion; 17% higher than forecast and reflecting the caution and uncertainty providers are showing in making forecasts.

Arrears and vacuum-related loss figures remain stable, although still impacted by coronavirus-related restrictions and the associated rise in unemployment. Rental collection rates continue to be in line with normal seasonal trends and underlying cash flow performance remains strong.

Forecasts for the next 12 months indicate that performance and plans continue to return to levels seen before the coronavirus pandemic, but this could be affected if the government is forced to delay elements of its roadmap.

Will Perry, Chief Strategy Officer at HSRsaid:

The social housing sector continues to demonstrate financial strength and expects maintenance and capital expenditure to increase over the next twelve months.

The continuing challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic reinforce the need for providers to effectively manage risk and ensure they can both maintain tenant services and plan and invest for the future.

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 October 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 and the latest report is based on regulatory returns from 214 PRP and PRP groups 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.