HAs: caught in a cross-subsidy trap?


Housing associations’ increased dependence on revenue from private sales could leave them over-exposed to market fluctuation

Spring is usually the key season for homes market. But this year is different, with April’s RICS residential market survey showing the number of new sales falling for the ninth month in a row. The same poll of 700 estate agents across the UK showed fewer new properties on the market than at any point in the last three years.

Faced with a faltering housing market, governments in the past have turned to housing associations to give a boost to the construction market. That was what happened during the last two recessions of the early 1990s and the late noughties when governments pumped in money to build new social rented properties and pick up the volume housebuilders’ unsold stock.

This time though, housing associations themselves are left nursing unsold homes as a result of the sector’s increased exposure to the open market over the last decade.

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