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UK’s Affordable Housing Supply Jumps 12%

The latest data from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government confirms that in 2017-18 there were 47,355 affordable homes built in England, representing a 12% increase over the year before.

Knight Frank residential research associate Patrick Gower said that the Prime Minister will be encouraged by this data revealing that the affordable housing supply in England has gone up.

Mr. Gower said that the percentage of new-builds that were classed as affordable also went up to 24% from 23% the year before. The increase appears amid a wider trend in affordable housing supply, which increased 6% in 2017-18.

He explained that the affordable housing completions in England has remained steady. Homes for social rent represented 14% of these completed projects, the same as in 2016-17. Over half of all completions (57%) were for Affordable Rent, a 1% decrease from 58% the year before. Intermediate Housing schemes such as Shared Ownership came in at 29%, up from 28% the year before.

The number of affordable homes that began on site climbed to 53,572, an increase of 11%. This suggests that the amount of housing to be completed in the next two to three years is also likely to go up.

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Key highlights in the data include:

  • Since 2013-14, the most common form of tenure for affordable homes delivery has been affordable rent.
  • 47% of the affordable housing supply delivered last year were funded through section 106 agreements.
  • 90% of affordable homes built in England were new build, which is comparable to the year before.

Search Acumen managing director Andrew Lloyd said that the UK government and industry has finally realized the extent of the country’s housing crisis. He said that it was encouraging to see recent attempts to raise the affirdable housing supply start to show results, with over 47,000 affordable homes built in 2017-18. But. he warned, there is still a lot of work to do. According to estimates from the National Housing Federation, over 140,000 affordable homes must be built per year to meet demand.

Mr. Lloyd said that the need to make more affordable housing available is urgent, but the resolution should not be a knee-jerk reaction such as further promises to invest in affordable housing, without considering what property types are most in need and where. If the UK housing crisis is to be fixed for this and future generations, a smarter approach is needed.

He stated that the government has clearly indicated that both private and public enterprises must use property data to make more informed building and planning decisions. For more building to occur, a better job needs to be done of sourcing and unlocking sites for affordable housing. The right kinds of homes must be built in the right areas and at the right price.

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