But G15 landlord says it will build at current reduced rate for forseeable future

Major London-based housing association Notting Hill Genesis completed construction of 1,346 homes in the year to March, well above target despite a “difficult” market for development that has seen many other associations miss their build ambitions.

The 68,000-home social landlord, publishing delayed annual results for the year, said it performed “well” against its 1,224-home completions target for new homes, “despite a difficult external climate and delays due to the pandemic”.

Notting Hill Genesis

The 1,346 completions, supplemented by 50 homes purchased from Places for People, just outpaced the 1,342 seen in the covid affected 2020/21 year, but was well below the association’s pre-pandemic 2019/20 figure of 1,892.

The G15-group landlord also smashed its target for acquiring new plots, buying 886 sites against a target of just 386, and started on site with construction of 1,385 homes only just missing its target of 1,406.

The development figures came as Notting Hill reported a reduced £113m pre-tax surplus, down from £145m last year, on turnover of £837m, down 8% on falling income from house sales.

The organisation’s chief financial officer, Abayomi Okunola, said the year had been about “reducing risk” at the landlord, following a 2018 decision by Notting to reduce its exposure to the housing market as the London housing market stagnated.

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Notting Hill said it managed to halve the number of unsold private and shared ownership homes on its books from 548 in April 2021 to 275 by March this year, using bulk sales as well as transfers to rental tenures. Notting Hill has reduced the amount spent on development year-on-year from the £654m it recorded in 2018/19 down to £315m this year.

Okunola said: “We expect to stay at a level of £300m to £400m [invested in development] over the next few years”.

Notting Hill has plans to spend £173m on building safety repairs to its homes.

Notting Hill’s results come a day after the social housing regulator downgraded 19 housing associations – including a number of fellow G15 landlords – on the basis of viability, given the weakening housing market alongside ambitious investment plans. All the associations downgraded – which included G15 members L&Q and Clarion – were moved from a V1 to V2 rating and continue to comply with the regulatory standard. Notting Hill was not rated.

Okunola added: “Once again, our annual results show Notting Hill Genesis to be a financially sound organisation with substantial liquidity. This is of particular relevance given rising costs across the board and increased pressure on our residents.

“I hope that the results give our residents, investors and other stakeholders confidence in our ability to withstand challenges within the housing sector but also to continue to deliver homes for a range of needs across London and surrounding areas.”

Housing association financial statements 2021/22

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