Weekly Summary: 27th October 2023

DATA: ONS published delayed UK labour market overview

The delayed publication provides an alternative estimate of the UK labour market derived from PAYE real-time and claimant count data. The estimates suggest UK unemployment rose to 4.2% in the period June to August 2023, a 0.2 p.p. rise on the previous quarter.

DATA: ONS published private rental affordability data for 2022

The analysis, comparing private rents to the gross monthly income of private renting households, shows the “median household income could expect to spend 26% of their income on a median-priced rented home in England”. In London, the median rent of £1,450 being equivalent to 35% of median income. An issue with this type of analysis in the private rental market is that for a significant proportion of renters in some markets (students), the relevant income is that of their parents or guardians rather than the renters themselves.

DATA: DLUHC published Energy Performance Certificate data for Q3 2023

See Chart of the Week for more detail on the latest release.

DATA: RSH published registered provider social housing stock and rents

The data, covering England up to 31st March 2023, shows registered providers owned 4.5 million homes, an increase of 0.8% over the year. They also report a “4.1% increase in average general needs (social rent) net rents since 2022”.

DATA: ONS published 2021 Census origin-destination data

This is another fantastically useful Census release that will be compromised by its timing.

DATA: ONS published 2021 Census data on vacant and second homes

Census data shows 6.1% of dwellings were unoccupied in England on Census Day but when adjusted for second homes, the share of “truly vacant dwellings” was 5.4%.

POLICY: Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill becomes law

According to DLUHC, the new laws will “speed up the planning system, hold developers to account, cut bureaucracy, and encourage more councils to put in place plans to enable the building of new homes”. Lichfields have summarised the key planning related sections.

REPORT: GLA published Housing in London 2023 report

The report provides a comprehensive summary of the state of housing in London, covering a range of different topics and lots of charts.

REPORT: Unipol and HEPI reported on student accommodation costs

They report “Rent now swallows up virtually all of the average maintenance loan as the student accommodation market reaches ‘crisis point’”. They propose “Major reform of the student maintenance system”, “Financial support and introduction of affordable room options”, and “Facilitating more supply”.

REPORT: UCL CASA reported on London housing supply and the green belt

The paper investigates “the volume of housing delivery and travel sustainability outcomes” and suggests green belt reform. The research is also covered in this blog.

REPORT: JRF reported on destitution in the UK 2023

They find “approximately 3.8 million people experienced destitution in 2022, including around one million children. This is almost two-and-a-half times the number of people in 2017, and nearly triple the number of children”.

REPORT: JRF reported on housing costs and tackling homelessness

They have published two briefings setting out their recommendations.

REPORT: CSJ reported on building a better private rented sector

They report “PRS Reform is crucial for low-income households”. They suggest “Improving security for tenants”, “Encouraging and enabling good landlords”, “Cracking down on rogue landlords”, and the need to improve the quality of the sector and support affordability.

REPORT: CaCHE evaluated capital grant for social rented housing

The review of additional capital grant for new social rented homes in areas of “high affordability pressure” found it was an “effective intervention for stimulating the supply of social rent” but also found it “did not have an effect on new supply from local authorities, nor did it result in more affordable housing overall”.

REPORT: Savills reported on the residential development land market

The report, covering Q3 2023, finds “A relatively weak land market with pockets of resilience”. They report a 39% fall in development land sales compared to the same quarter last year and UK greenfield land values fell 8% in the year to September 2023.

REPORT: Propertymark reported on the state of the housing market

They report “Prospective buyer numbers down” but “Sales agreed levels remain static”.

CORPORATE: Vistry Group published trading update

They report “average weekly sales rate since 1 July has been 0.60 (2022: 0.64) and 0.76 (2022: 0.77) for the year to date” and “Open market demand continues to be supported by incentives of c. 5%”.

CORPORATE: Foxtons published trading update

They report “Q3 Sales revenue was down 17% to £9.9m (Q3 2022: £11.9m), compared to a 23% reduction in market exchange volumes. On a year-to-date basis, Sales revenue was down 18% to £26.9m (Q3 2022 YTD: £32.7m)”. They also report “the rate of rental price growth moderated compared to the previous two quarters, reflecting more normalised supply and demand dynamics”.

Chart of the Week

The number of new build Energy Performance Certificates is a useful leading indicator for net housing supply. The headline figure for England shows the total number of new build EPCs in the year to Q3 2023 was 237,000. This was 4.2% lower than the same period last year. However, as the chart below shows, there has been considerable regional variation over the period with the national falls largely driven by an 11% fall in London and 8% fall in the South East (also the largest regions by delivery). Meanwhile, Yorkshire and Humber, East Midlands, and East of England have all see slight increases in delivery over the period. It is likely that we will see these figures fall further in coming quarters given current market conditions.

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