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Social housing work is due for steady growth over the next two years.

After a 13% slump this year, Glenigan forecasts that the overall value of social housing project starts at an underlying level (schemes valued below £100 million) will rebound by 7% in 2024.

Glenigan’s economics director Allan Wilén comments: “Greater cost stability is expected to improve the viability of planned projects and enable housing associations to increase their development activity over the next two years.

“There is a significant pipeline of approved projects that can move to the construction site. A sharp rise in main contracts awarded over the first nine months of 2023 is expected to support a recovery in sector activity over the forecast period.”

Glenigan forecasts that around £7.5 billion worth of social housing work will commence on-site in 2024.

This ranges from Wheatley Homes’ plans for 310 homes at Locharbriggs in Dumfries (Project ID: 21525108) to United Welsh Housing Association’s £37 million plan for 154 houses and 15 flats at Treharris in Mid Glamorgan (Project ID: 22085466).

Council building

Registered social landlords (RSLs) are the main drivers of workload in this sector, but councils are also building new social housing.

CGI of a social housing project planned for Maidstone, Kent.

Maidstone Borough Council, for example, is planning 217 flats at Station Road in the town (Project ID: 23066359). Contractors have until April 12 to express interest in taking on the work with a start pencilled in for spring on the £47 million project (pictured).

In Swansea, the city council wants to build 127 houses, 20 flats, and a dozen bungalows at Brokesby Road in Bonymaen (Project ID: 18201634). A planning application has been submitted. If successful, construction should begin next summer.

Maintenance spend

RSLs and councils also spend heavily on maintaining existing homes under their management. A swathe of maintenance deals will also come on stream next year.

These range from a £44 million investment framework for Great Places’ properties in the North West and South Yorkshire (Project ID: 23230412) to a £40 million maintenance framework for Bristol City Council’s housing estate (Project ID: 23311657).

Student rise

Student accommodation work, which sits within this sector, is expected to benefit from a 12.4% rise in the number of overseas students, particularly from China and India, coming to the UK.

Mr Wilén adds: “A recovery in the purpose-built student accommodation market is anticipated over the next two years. The rise in overseas student numbers will be especially welcomed by purpose-built student accommodation developers, as international students are more likely to remain in purpose-built student halls throughout their studies.”

Student accommodation project starts are forecast to rise by 16% next year.

Work expected to begin in 2024 according to Glenigan’s research includes a £35 million scheme for the University of the West of England at Stoke Gifford in Bristol (Project ID: 23108795) and the £75.5 million Broadway Central student accommodation scheme in Glasgow (Project ID: 23287862)

Secure outlook

Further out, the pace of growth will slow but still continue upward. Student accommodation work is forecast to rise by 10% in 2025, when overall social housing project starts are expected to increase by 5%, promising a steady stream of work for the industry.

Glenigan customers can see details of all new social housing construction opportunities if covered by your subscription.

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