Homes England release half-year housebuilding statistics

Homes England release half-year housebuilding statistics

Published results show the number of housing starts on site and completions

11,530 new houses were started and 11,297 new homes were completed from housing programmes delivered by Homes England between 1 April and 30 September 2023.

The figures in the official housing statistics report represent a decrease in both starts and completions compared to the same period in 2022.

The report points out that while actual numbers were lower, a higher percentage of starts on sites were for affordable homes than in the same period last year (86% and 74% respectively).

It states this is largely due to the living cost and mortgage rate increases associated with an economic downturn that typically results in a fall in market housing demand, but an increase in affordable housing demand.

Therefore, while the number of starts and completions fall, the decline is less pronounced within affordable housing.

Of the affordable homes started in this period:

  • 1,058 were for Affordable Rent (a decrease of 51% on this period last year)
  • 1,182 were for Intermediate Affordable Housing Schemes, including Shared Ownership and Rent to Buy (a decrease of 32%)
  • 722 were for Social Rent (a decrease of 14%)

It’s worth noting the tenure is still to be confirmed for a further 6,965 of the affordable homes starts (an 11% increase on this figure for the same period last year). This is because providers are not contractually required to identify the tenure of a unit until completion.

Of the 11,297 housing completions from 1 April to 30 September 2023, 7831 were for affordable homes. For the same period in 2022, 7,905 affordable homes were completed – proportionally 2023 represents an increase (69% versus 64% respectively).

Of the affordable homes completed in this period:

  • 3,092 were for Affordable Rent – a decrease of 16% from the same period last year
  • 3,084 were for Intermediate Affordable Housing Schemes – an increase of 1%
  • 1,174 were for Social Rent – an increase of 4%
  • The remaining 481 were for First Homes – an increase of 1,103% on 40 First Homes completed in the same period last year.

Peter Denton, chief executive at Homes England, said: “The current economic downturn, with escalating interest rates, abnormal inflation, particularly in building material costs, and the growing cost of living crisis, have all had an impact on housing delivery.

“As the government’s housing and regeneration agency, we have acted as quickly as we can, working with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to introduce flexibilities and ease the strain on our partners. We know that these pressures are likely to continue, and we shall continue to work with our partners and central government to support the sector to keep building.

“Times are tough and I’d urge existing and potential partners from the building industry, home providers, developers, investors and local authorities to engage with the Homes England team. We are here to help unlock solutions to problems and pave the way for more homes and regenerated places where people want to live and thrive.”

National housing statistics are published twice a year showing half and full year starts and completions as part of planned national statistical releases.

The next release is full year starts and completions, which are due to be published in May or June 2024.

Homes England programmes are funded by central government to enable private registered providers, house builders, community groups and local authorities to deliver affordable housing.

TfL and Barratt London partner for 450 new homes in Wembley

TfL and Barratt London partner for 450 new homes in Wembley

The green light has been given for Transport for London (TfL) and Barratt London’s second joint venture. Brent Council has approved their proposal for 454 new homes by Wembley Park London Underground station.

The new development, which covers a 1.6-acre site, will include 40% affordable housing, a retail unit, improvements to public spaces and new operational space for TfL.

Designed by TateHindle architects, the new homes will be delivered across five buildings and will be a mixture of studio, one, two and three-bedroom properties.

The affordable homes will be offered as a combination of intermediate housing, such as shared ownership, and London Affordable Rent.

To help improve air quality in the capital and in line with the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, the development will be car-free for residents, with the exception of blue badge parking. The proximity of Wembley Park station, serviced by both the Jubilee and Metropolitan lines as well as a number of bus routes, enables the residents to more easily make the switch from driving to public transport. It’s also hoped the provision of cycle parking within the development will encourage residents to cycle when making journeys.

With green and biodiverse roofs, the planting of new trees and hedges, as well as wildlife-friendly landscaping such as bird boxes and bee bricks included as part of the scheme, the designs aim to positively enhance the local environment.

The development will also use renewable forms of energy through solar panels and air source heat pumps. The homes have been designed to encourage natural light within them and reduce energy usage; 70% of the homes are dual aspect and the remainder have been designed to ensure that they are not north facing.

Emma Hatch, senior property development manager at TfL, said: “We are thrilled to get the go-ahead for our development at Wembley, which will deliver hundreds of new homes as well as a new retail opportunity and improvements for the local community.

“This is the second project with Barratt London and builds on our track record for delivering much-needed new homes in the capital. Our first homes at Blackhorse View in Waltham Forest started selling earlier this year, showing our developments have been designed thoughtfully with both the community and residents in mind.”

The Wembley Park scheme forms part of TfL’s housing programme, which aims to provide 10,000 homes across the capital as well as a commitment to deliver 50% affordable housing on average across all sites brought to the market since May 2016.

TfL launched their Property Partnership Framework in 2016, which provides a pool of partners eligible to bid to work with TfL in joint ventures as sites become available.

Avant Homes and Moorfield Group in £20m show homes sale

Avant Homes and Moorfield Group in £20m show homes sale

Avant Homes has sold 77 show homes to property investor Moorfield Group for £20m.

The UK property investor has acquired the 93,000 square feet portfolio, located across 29 different sites, from the house-builder which operates in Scotland, the north east of England, Yorkshire and the Midlands, in a sale and leaseback agreement.

Upon acquisition the show homes were immediately leased back to Avant Homes on an average three-year term. When the individual leases expire, Moorfield will either sell the homes on the open market or rent the homes alongside its existing build-to-rent activities. The high-spec show homes occupy prominent locations on each of the estates on which they are located.

Moorfield Group previously worked with Avant Homes in 2013 when they acquired the developer’s Edinburgh city centre £750 million mixed-use Quartermile scheme in 2013 for an undisclosed sum. The group’s investments in the residential sector also include senior living (Audley), Build-to-Rent (More. Superenting) and student accommodation (Domain).

Avant Homes has a turnover of £483 million, five regional offices and employs over 700 people.

Charles Ferguson-Davie, chief investment officer at Moorfield Group, said: “Despite the volatility caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we remain convinced that the residential sector will continue to be a resilient asset class, providing ongoing opportunities to generate outperformance on behalf of our investors. We have pioneered investment into a range of residential use classes and this innovative transaction provides our investors with further diversification.”

Mark Mitchell, Avant Homes chief operating officer, added: “Covid-19 has presented the housebuilding industry with many challenges, which we have responded to dynamically, with the safety and wellbeing of our people as our first priority. Looking ahead, we remain committed to continuing to execute against our growth strategy, underpinned by the resilience and agility of our business, the excellence of our product and the commitment of our people.

“Moorfield Group’s investment is testament to their belief in our ability to continue to succeed. As part of our growth strategy, we are exploring a number of other opportunities with Moorfield Group and hope to be able to reveal more detail about what they are in due course.”