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NHF's annual look at housing market

Posted on 20 March 2018

House prices and rents in the South East have risen faster than London for the last two years, while London has the biggest housing shortfall in the country according to a report by the National Housing Federation (NHF).

The ‘Home Truths 2017/18’ reports by the NHF analyse key housing data across England annually. They found that;

  • Between 2012 and 2016, there were 177,590 too few homes built in London ­­­- the highest shortfall in England.
  • In the South East, there was a 6.7% rise in average house prices compared to 3.5% rise in London.
  • The cost of average private rents also grew nearly 12% in the South East between 2015 and 2017 compared to 9.3% in London.
  • The average private monthly rent in the South East now stands at £994, meaning local people on average earnings would spend almost 40% of their income on an average private rent.

The NHF, which represents housing associations who are social landlords to over 2.7 million homes, says most of the housing gap in London could be met by unlocking public land. The City Hall’s register of public land shows there are 36,287 sites of public land that could be built on. According to the Mayor of London’s office, if all of these were unlocked, a minimum of 130,000 homes could be built.

The housing association sector is working to battle the housing crisis by building more homes, completing nearly 15,000 new homes during 2016/17 and starting a further 18,385 in London and the South East.

As a social landlord whose core aim is to provide homes for people who need them, we are working across London and the South East to tackle the housing crisis.

Our Group Chief Executive Elaine Bailey said: “We are committed to building as many homes as we possibly can to do more than our share in helping to alleviate the housing shortage that our region faces. We are working in innovative ways with partners to combine our expertise and skills to unlock land and deliver more affordable homes at pace.”

On the south coast we have signed a unique joint venture agreement with Brighton and Hove City Council to work in partnership to deliver 1,000 affordable homes for local people. Half of these homes will be based on rents linked to the Living Wage with the other half being for shared ownership. The joint venture will significantly increase the supply of affordable homes in the city over the next five years.

In Rochester (Kent), we started work last month with Countryside, Medway Council, and Homes England, on a multi-million pound regeneration which will transform the area. Rochester Riverside will deliver 1,400 new homes, alongside a new school, nursery and open spaces.

Dave Smith, NHF External Affairs Manager for the South East, said: “Everyone knows the housing market in London is at breaking point. But these new figures show that the crisis is extending to the South East too.

“The bottom line is the nation hasn’t built enough houses and people are now suffering. This can’t go on. Housing associations are ready to deliver even more in 2018 and beyond. But to deliver affordable homes we urgently need to unlock land and prioritise funding for truly affordable housing again.”