Housing association could borrow 7Bn to provide new homes

Housing associations could borrow £7.4bn to provide new homes

An additional £7.4bn in borrowing could be secured against housing association assets to boost housebuilding in the UK, according to real estate advisers Savills.

Savills latest research suggested that housing associations – who delivered 40,000 homes in 2015/16, around a fifth of all new homes – could unlock more funding to further increase the supply of houses.

To determine this, Savills investigated the borrowing capacity of over 175 of the largest housing associations.

Savills calculated that housing associations are in a strong position to acquire development funding despite being in a period of tighter lending restrictions.

Robert Grundy, head of housing consultancy at Savills, said: “Government policy appears to be shifting away from a single focus on building homes for home ownership, to a recognition that we need more homes of every single type.”

“Housing associations are very well placed to deliver and manage homes across a range of tenures and could be significant contributors to new housing supply. 

“Key to this will be an understanding of the sector’s real financial capacity and how this capacity can best be unlocked. 

“Increasing borrowing against existing assets seems to be a natural first step. 

“Greater capacity certainly exists, but house associations will need to adopt a different approach to their borrowing and cash flow.” 

In response to these findings, at the end of November Savills will publish another report on housing associations and how many homes they can provide.

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