Completions down by 5%, primarily due to uncertainty triggered by rent cut news

Housing associations across the UK commenced work on 47,709 new homes in the past year, an increase of 13%, while completions fell by 5% in the same period to 38,082.

The National Housing Federation (NHF), which collated the latest figures, said the decrease in completions was “primarily due to a period of uncertainty following announcements that rents would be cut by 1% in April 2016”.

Among starts, the majority were for affordable rent (20,793), followed by affordable ownership (13,364), market sale (7,595) and market rent (2,054).

Of the 38,082 completions, 18,935 were for affordable rent, followed by affordable ownership (8,671), with market sale registering 4,309 and market rent 1,392.

Looking at the regions, the majority of developments took place in London, with 13,585 starts and 8,932 completions, followed by the South East (8,691/6,188). The North East registered the lowest figures in the UK for starts and completions (1,216/1,595).

The NHF said half of starts in England were delivered using grant funding. “In London this proportion is significantly different, where 62% of homes started did not use grant funding. This is contrasted to the North West, where only 28% of homes started were delivered without grant funding.

“In England, 41% of completions were delivered without government investment. This is in contrast to 57% of completions in the South West, 52% in London and 21% in the North West,” it added.