Your essential guide to the UK housing sector

House by Urban Splash

The facts and figures on all the big players and disruptors in the sector – and what they’re doing now and next

Time was you knew where you were with housebuilding: only private housebuilders or councils did it, with the former trying to make as much money as they could, and the latter making their houses affordable for working people. Even when housing associations took over the mantle from local authorities from the 1980s onward the distinctions remained very clear, with homes for private sale on one side, homes for subsidised rent on the other.

By degrees, however, we have entered a very different world. Inspired by the government’s ambition to build 300,000 homes per year by the middle of the next decade, new breeds of developer are entering the market, while local authorities are re-entering the fray with serious intent.

All the old boundaries between what defines different types of home builder are breaking down

But it is not just the variety of types of new home builders that is so radical, it is that all the old boundaries between what defines them are breaking down. Housing associations are becoming master developers and entering into strategic land promotion, while housebuilders are setting up registered provider arms to manage affordable housing. Meanwhile, local authorities aren’t just building homes at deeply discounted social rent levels (though many are certainly intending to do that), they’re building home for private sale, part ownership, market rent – and everything in between.

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