Tenant Services Authority reports nearly a third of unsold homes are reserved

The total number of unsold housing association homes fell 16% over the last quarter, according to the latest figures from the Tenant Services Authority.

Chief executive, Peter Marsh, said the number of unsold low-cost home ownership homes (LCHO) dropped from 10,359 to 8,742. The total number of homes unsold for more than six months fell from 4,629 last quarter to 3,771, down 19%.

Speaking yesterday at a social housing conference, Marsh said the figures demonstrated a level of “resilience” in the sector.

“Promising figures from one quarter does not mean the sector is still not being impacted by the global recession, but these results do show that … sales of shared ownership homes are taking place – even in today's difficult housing market.

“Encouragingly, almost a third of the unsold homes are currently reserved and associations are hopeful that these will be converted to final sales.”

Dampening hopes of a sustained market pick up, he added that associations had been converting LCHO homes to social rented properties with Homes and Communities Agency funding.

He said this was welcome as a short-term reaction to the decline in sales interest, but added that associations would expect to convert the same number of the homes back to LCHO once the housing market showed signs of recovery.

Associations had 94% (£5.1 billion) of the debt needed over the next 12 months already in place, he said.