64,000-home association boosts turnover through bulk sale

Guinness has exceeded its annual development target and boosted its turnover.

The 64,000-home housing association, in its financial statement, said that it completed 814 homes in 2022/23, beating its target of 771.

The figure is a near doubling of the 410 homes it built last year, when the association built less than half its targeted homes amid labour and supply chain issues and developers ‘re-profiling’ schemes.

The association said although it continues to “experience challenges with planning delays and supply chain pressures” it is on track to meet its target of building 5,500 homes between 2018 and 2025. It said it had built 2,430 of these at the end of March and has 3,926 homes in its development pipeline currently.

Guinness increased its turnover by 39% to £540.3m year-on-year. This was due largely to an extra £125.9m in income generated from market sales, including a bulk sale of 204 homes at Leaside Lock in Bromley-by-Bow, east London, to an institutional investor. Guinness’ income from social housing lettings increased by £20.8m due to a 4.1% rent increase and increased stock numbers.

Guinness’ overall surplus increased by 12% from £41.4m to £46.4m year-on-year. However, its surplus from social housing decreased by £3.2m to £79.1m, which it said was due to “significant cost pressures” which “have arisen due to inflation and increased demand for responsive repairs.”

The association admitted however that its social housing build rate as a percentage of its overall stock is below the average for the housing association sector nationally as well as for the G15 group of housing associations in London, which it joined last year. It uses these figures as a benchmark.

Guinness built 517 social homes in the year, including 295 for shared ownership and 222 for social or affordable rent. This equated to 0.8% of stock, below the 1.1% median for the G15 and the 1.4% median nationally. It’s 297 completions for open market sale however equated to 0.46%, above the G15 average of 0.2%.

It said: “While our level of new supply is below benchmark levels, we have concluded that it represents an appropriate level given the ongoing investment needs of our existing homes.”

The association invested £177.5m in improving existing homes in 2022/23 and is planning to pump £1.2bn into stock improvements over the next 10 years.