The Regulator of Social Housing today published statistics about the social housing sector, including stock ownership and rents as at 31 March 2020.
This is the first time that we have produced local authority statistics, and combined statistics for local authority and private registered provider stock alongside the private registered provider statistics.
Returns from registered providers of social housing show the sector as a whole had 4.4 million social housing homes in 2020, with more than 60% owned by private registered providers and the remainder owned by local authorities. When non-social housing stock is included, private registered providers reported owning more than 3 million homes for the first time.
Looking across all providers, there has been a slight increase (0.3%) in low cost rental stock since 2019, with the reported increase in Affordable Rent units higher than the reported decrease in social rent units (reasons for which include sales to tenants (such as Right to Buy) and conversions to Affordable Rent.
The stock owned by for-profit private registered providers nearly doubled over the year, although the number of units remains low at just over 9,000. The increase in low cost home ownership units continues to accelerate with a further 14,500 units added in 2019-20.
The data covers the final year of the four-year rent reduction and shows that general needs social rents have fallen by nearly 4% across the whole sector since 2016. The average weekly general needs rent across England at 31 March 2020 was £90.50 but there was considerable regional variation with rents lowest in the North East (£75.53) and highest in London (£111.74) and the South East (£101.12).
Fiona MacGregor, Chief Executive of RSH said:
The data from the Statistical Data Return and Local Authority Data Return shows how the social housing sector is changing and growing. This is the first comparable data across both local authority and private registered providers that meets the National Statistics designation.
This data will help ensure we take a risk-based and proportionate approach to regulation across the whole sector, as we take on responsibility for regulation of rents for local authorities as well as private registered providers.