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Construction Downturn: Social Housing

Social housing is not performing as strongly in 2008 as might have been expected.

Government objectives, such as the “decent homes standard”, and an emphasis on increasing affordable housing stock have nottranslated to an increase in the value of new projects.

The credit crunch is having a knock-on effect on the sector as many social housing projects are part of larger, mixed use regeneration schemes. Glenigan estimates the value of social housing starts will be 2 per cent lower in 2008.

Prospects for 2009 have also worsened in recent months. Between January and July 2008 the value of planning approvals was 23 per cent down on the same period last year.

The decline in approvals is likely to put the Government’s annual affordable housing targets under further pressure, with the number of new homes started falling back next year.

Estate refurbishments and improvements should help offset the decline in new build work.