Average social housing rents down 1.3%

The Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) has published the second release of the Statistical Data Return 2018-2019 – and what does it reveal?

Well, it shows a 1.3% reduction in the average rent for general needs social housing in England since 2018, and a significant difference in rent levels across regions.

However, service charge rises have meant gross rents have seen a lesser reduction, the RSH says.

Private registered providers of social housing with 1,000 or more units/bedspaces have reported an average net rent of £95.12 per week for the general needs rental stock (excluding Affordable Rent and intermediate rent) properties that they own.

Other findings include:

  • London, the South East and the East of England have the highest net rents on average (ranging from £98.99 to £121.85 per week) and the North East has the lowest average weekly net rent of £77.89
  • Supported housing net rents have reduced by 0.3% since 2018 – the key driver behind the lower level of decrease appears to be units that have an absolute exception from the 1% per annum rent reduction. After controlling for these units a 1.3% reduction can be seen.
  • Affordable Rent rents for general needs units have reduced by 0.7% since 2018, with an average gross rent of £126.94 per week in 2019.
  • Average service charges in England for supported housing increased by 5% between 2018 and 2019.

Fiona MacGregor, RSH chief executive of RSH, said: “The data on stock ownership, location, development and transfers collected through our Statistical Data Return helps us ensure a risk-based and proportionate approach to regulation. It also informs our risk analysis and sector research.

“The regulator systematically reviews the rents data in the SDR and we will engage with providers where necessary. We will set out some of our wider findings as a result of that engagement in due course.”