The Savills Housing Sector Survey

The Savills Housing Sector Survey
 
Unlocking future delivery

27 June 2017, by Savills Research

It’s not necessarily more money that’s needed to boost housing associations’ share of delivery, it’s what money that’s important

 

Government policy expects huge contributions from housing associations in terms of delivery, but has yet to provide the certainty needed to make this happen. The rent settlement was the key concern of our respondents. The surety of the rent roll beyond 2020 is a major factor in business plans and development capacity. Without it, long-term strategies will be held in suspense (see our report Is rent freedom a silver bullet?).

Housing associations also see a role for government in addressing the issue of land. Preferential access to public land was mentioned by many respondents as a means of unlocking delivery. To aid this, partnerships with developers or local authorities are being planned or considered by most respondents. The appetite for partnering with institutional investors was lower. This is likely to be because low-cost, long-term finance for the sector is relatively widely available. It also reflects the relative lack of interest in the sector in delivering market rented housing, where sale to an institution could unlock capital for reinvestment in future development.

There is as much expectation of rationalisation in the sector through mergers, which would give the critical mass needed for a more ambitious programme of housing delivery in the sector. But, as we touched on earlier, meeting that ambition will often require changes in financial structure and funding.

FIGURE 10

What can government do to help housing association delivery? Rent certainty is clearly the number one priority for our survey respondents

 
Figure 10

Source: Savills Housing Sector Survey 2017

FIGURE 11

In the next five years, are you planning/considering the following? Partnerships with developers or local authorities are high on the agenda

 
Figure 11

Source: Savills Housing Sector Survey 2017

 

 
Q&A: Mark Henderson
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