Social housing work is due for steady growth over the next two years

Latest News Thu, Dec 21, 2023 7:40 AM

After a 13% slump this year, Glenigan forecasts that the overall value of social housing project starts at an underlying level (schemes valued below £100 million) will rebound by 7% in 2024.

Glenigan’s economics director Allan Wilén comments: “Greater cost stability is expected to improve the viability of planned projects and enable housing associations to increase their development activity over the next two years.

“There is a significant pipeline of approved projects that can move to the construction site. A sharp rise in main contracts awarded over the first nine months of 2023 is expected to support a recovery in sector activity over the forecast period.”

Glenigan forecasts that around £7.5 billion worth of social housing work will commence on-site in 2024.

This ranges from Wheatley Homes’ plans for 310 homes at Locharbriggs in Dumfries (Project ID: 21525108) to United Welsh Housing Association’s £37 million plan for 154 houses and 15 flats at Treharris in Mid Glamorgan (Project ID: 22085466).

Registered social landlords (RSLs) are the main drivers of workload in this sector, but councils are also building new social housing.

Maidstone Borough Council, for example, is planning 217 flats at Station Road in the town (Project ID: 23066359). Contractors have until April 12 to express interest in taking on the work with a start pencilled in for spring on the £47 million project (pictured).

In Swansea, the city council wants to build 127 houses, 20 flats, and a dozen bungalows at Brokesby Road in Bonymaen (Project ID: 18201634). A planning application has been submitted. If successful, construction should begin next summer.

RSLs and councils also spend heavily on maintaining existing homes under their management. A swathe of maintenance deals will also come on stream next year.

These range from a £44 million investment framework for Great Places’ properties in the North West and South Yorkshire (Project ID: 23230412) to a £40 million maintenance framework for Bristol City Council’s housing estate (Project ID: 23311657).

Student accommodation work, which sits within this sector, is expected to benefit from a 12.4% rise in the number of overseas students, particularly from China and India, coming to the UK.

Mr Wilén adds: “A recovery in the purpose-built student accommodation market is anticipated over the next two years. The rise in overseas student numbers will be especially welcomed by purpose-built student accommodation developers, as international students are more likely to remain in purpose-built student halls throughout their studies.”

Student accommodation project starts are forecast to rise by 16% next year.

Work expected to begin in 2024 according to Glenigan’s research includes a £35 million scheme for the University of the West of England at Stoke Gifford in Bristol (Project ID: 23108795) and the £75.5 million Broadway Central student accommodation scheme in Glasgow (Project ID: 23287862)

Further out, the pace of growth will slow but still continue upward. Student accommodation work is forecast to rise by 10% in 2025, when overall social housing project starts are expected to increase by 5%, promising a steady stream of work for the industry.

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