RSH quarterly survey results published for Q4 January to March 2021

The Regulator of Social Housing has today (26 May) published the results of its latest quarterly survey of registered providers’ financial health.

The report covers the period from 1 January to 31 March 2022. The sector remained financially healthy over the quarter and financial year, and the outlook for the next 12 months remains robust.

The sector raised significant new capital and maintained its strong aggregate liquidity. Total debt facilities were £118.7 billion by March 2022, including £12.5 billion in new finance agreed by year end. This is sufficient to fund the sector’s interest costs, loan repayments and capital investment commitments over the next 12 months.

Providers’ strong access to finance enabled substantial investment in existing stock. Annual spend on capitalised major repairs was £2.3 billion – the highest yearly record. Quarterly spend reached £771 million by March 2022 – the highest quarterly figure on record.

Quarterly investment in new homes was lower than the previous quarter, but matched levels seen before the pandemic. Investment over the financial year exceeded pre-pandemic levels; providers invested £12.7 billion by March 2022, compared to £10.3 billion in the previous year and £12.4 billion in the year to March 2020. Investment in new homes is forecast to reach £17.5 billion by March 2023.

Tenant arrears improved in the quarter, while void losses were consistent with the previous quarter. Providers reported that material and labour shortages continue to affect void repair times, and covid-related backlogs remain challenging.

Forecasts for next year suggest that providers intend to continue exceeding pre-pandemic levels of investment – in both new and existing homes.

Will Perry, Director of Strategy at RSH, said:

The social housing sector remains financially strong and continues to recover from the pandemic. Providers forecast even greater investment next year on new and existing homes.

Looking ahead, providers will need to manage significant economic and practical headwinds while continuing to make substantial capital investment. It is crucial that Boards maintain a clear understanding of their existing stock, while closely monitoring rising inflation, interest rates and persistent supply chain challenges.

The quarterly survey is available on the RSH website.

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