RSH Quarterly survey published for Q1 April to June 2021

Social housing sector in good position to recover from impact of pandemic

The Regulator of Social Housing has today (3 September) published the results of its latest Quarterly survey of registered providers’ financial health.

The report covers the period from 1 April to 30 June 2021. It shows that the sector is well placed to continue its recovery from the pandemic, with strong liquidity and high levels of investment in both new and existing homes.

Investment in housing supply during the quarter was £3.1 billion – an increase of 11% on the previous quarter. Twelve-month development and major repairs spend forecasts increased again and both exceed pre-pandemic levels. Capitalised repairs spend was £459 million in the quarter, which is the highest quarter one figure ever recorded

The number of unsold properties reduced in the quarter and providers’ total asset sales were £1.7 billion. The sales recorded were above forecast, reflecting the effects of the stamp duty holiday on the housing market.

Interest cover and income collection indicators remain robust with interest cover excluding sales for the 12 months to June 2021 at 138%, while interest cover excluding sales for the quarter was 102%. While arrears and rent collection rates are slightly lower than in the previous quarter; this is consistent with seasonal trends.

Overall, aggregate liquidity remains strong and is sufficient to fund the sector’s interest cost, loan repayments and capital investment commitments for over 12 months. Agreed total debt and undrawn facilities increased in the quarter, with new finance agreed of £2.4 billion.

Will Perry, Director of Strategy at RSH, said:

"The social housing sector is in a good position to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Providers will need to remain alert and ready to respond to further changes in the operating and economic environment. They will need to closely monitor and update their forecasts as the economy re-opens and be flexible so that they can effectively manage any increasing risks."

The Quarterly surveys are available on the RSH website

Regulator of Social Housing