Housing associations (HAs) across the UK are ramping up their development plans, according to Social Housing’s June special report analysing the 2017/18 accounts of the largest 208 organisations.
The UK’s biggest associations have £16.8m of capital works up for grabs for contractors.
The accounts of the associations show an increase of a third in authorised capital commitments – that is, future spending on capital works approved by the board but not yet awarded to a contractor.
Total capital commitments – which includes both those awarded to contractors and those approved by the board but not yet awarded – jumped up 17 per cent to £29.8bn.
The majority (more than 60 per cent) of the 15 housing associations with the highest total capital commitments were members of the G15 group of London’s largest housing associations.
The six non-G15 members were Sanctuary, Orbit, Home Group, Southern Housing Group, Places for People and Trivallis.
G15 member L&Q had the second-largest increase in authorised commitments, with a rise of £360m to £1.1bn. A total of £16m of its authorised commitments were being spent on the replacement of aluminium composite material cladding following the Grenfell Tower fire two years ago.
Increased spending on capital works to improve health and safety could be a theme in associations’ 2019 accounts.
For example, Broadacres Housing Association, a rural association with no multi-storey housing and therefore no cladding to replace, spent around £420,000 in 2018/19 on health and safety features such as fire doors, fire risk assessments and compartmentation, which is expected to increase to around £500,000 in 2019/2020.
After this, its chief executive Gail Teasdale said its spend will return to “normal routine maintenance”. She said it was likely that other associations across the sector would be carrying out similar reviews of health and safety spending.
Click on the button below to access the full special report, which includes comparisons of data in different parts of the UK, and sortable tables of data from individual housing associations.
Each month Social Housing focuses on a specific aspect of housing finance and collates and scrutinises the data for hundreds of housing organisations.
The reports below contain unparalleled commentary and analysis along with detailed sortable and searchable data tables.
Global accounts: Social Housing’s analysis of the sector’s global accounts finds that housing associations’ pre-tax surplus fell last year – driven by drops in England, Scotland and Wales (August 2019)
Affordable rent profile: We find that the number of affordable rent lettings recorded last year by housing associations in England has dropped for the second year in a row, suggesting that the sector is shifting away from the tenure
Capital commitments: We scrutinise the capital commitments of the 208 largest housing associations in the UK (June 2019)
Housing Revenue Account: Steve Partridge of Savills takes a look at the financial factors councils should consider in their Housing Revenue Account business planning (May 2019)
Reliance on sales surplus: Our analysis reveals that profits form 42 per cent of 150 English housing associations’ total surplus (April 2019)
Sales proceeds: We look at housing associations’ build-for-sale income and find a two per cent increase in 2017/18 (March 2019)
Shared ownership sales: England, excluding London, has seen a four per cent rise in shared ownership sales – much lower than last year’s 16 per cent increase (February 2019)
Stock dispersal: We show that housing associations’ general needs stock is becoming more concentrated within their local authority areas (January 2019)
Accounts digest: Analysis of 132 housing associations shows a fall in pre-tax profit margins (December 2018)
Professionals’ league: The total value of deals in the social housing sector has risen by almost 70 per cent, while the average deal size has jumped by nearly half (November 2018)
Affordable rent profile: We analyse affordable rent lettings data to reveal a 5% fall (October 2018)
Impairment 2016/17: Housing association impairments increased over 2016/17, with write-downs incurred on both residential and commercial property (September 2018)
Global accounts 2016/17: We scrutinise the global accounts produced by regulators across Britain and find the combined pre-tax surplus rose 21% (August 2018)