HCA expects housing starts to rise – Brexit aside

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has published its latest set of housing statistics, which show 33,332 housing starts on site and 25,315 housing completions delivered through its programmes in England at the end of the 2015/16 financial year.

HCA says these statistics are in line with the first year of a new housebuilding delivery cycle, as part of the transition between spending review periods.

And, the Brexit vote aside, starts are still expected to rise following the spending review announcement of £8bn investment in affordable housing and the launch in April of the bidding round for the 2016-21 Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes Programme.

The figures reflect the latest set of official six monthly statistics in relation to housing starts and completions for England – excluding London for all programmes except those administered in London by the HCA.

HCA managed London delivery relates to Get Britain Building, Build to Rent and Builders Finance Fund, which are reported in these statistics.

The HCA also manages Help to Buy equity loan on behalf of the GLA. Since April 2012, the Mayor of London has had oversight of strategic housing, regeneration and economic development in London.

HCA chief executive Mark Hodgkinson said: “We are where we expected to be in the first year of a new spending review delivery cycle. We are building the platform to continue to make a strong contribution to the Government’s ambitions for housing supply and home ownership in this Parliament.

“We recently invited bids for our element of the new £4.7bn grant programme to fund affordable homes, with a substantial proportion aimed at the intermediate market with 135,000 homes for shared ownership and 10,000 for rent to buy.

We will soon launch a new housebuilding fund that will make it easier for small and larger builders to access finance to build up to 200,000 new homes. At the same time, we are hard at work acquiring land for Starter Homes and increasing the supply of surplus public land for housing.”

The  statistics show the majority (21,304 or 64%) of the housing starts on site in 2015-16 were for affordable homes. This is down 19% on figures for 2014-15 – reflecting the end of the 2011-15 programme and the introduction of new programmes from April 2015.

There were 16,544 affordable homes started in 2015-16 for Affordable Rent and a further 4,158 were for Intermediate Affordable Housing schemes, including shared ownership, which represents an increase of 25% on the 3,334 homes started in 2014-15.

The number of market homes started in 2015-16 increased by 31% to 12,028, the majority of which were produced by the HCA’s Single Land Programme.

Affordable homes accounted for 17,394 (69%) of housing completions in 2015-16, down 57% compared to 2014-15, which the HCA says reflects the “normal delivery trend” in the transition between programme periods.

There were 13,100 affordable homes completed in 2015-16 for Affordable Rent and a further 2,801 homes were for Intermediate Affordable Housing schemes, including shared ownership.

The HCA will publish its next set of housing statistics later this year.

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