State of the Housing Market in Bristol 2013

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1 State of the Housing Market in Bristol 2013 Housing Stock Bristol has 190,000 homes, and plans to increase this by around 13,000 by Currently 15% of stock is owned by the city council, 6% by housing associations, 55% i Bristol Stock by Tenure 2012 DEMAND Source CLG Table 100/2011 Census Housing Need There is a shortage of affordable housing in Bristol. More than 1,500 new affordable homes would be required each year to house existing and newly forming households who cannot afford to buy or rent in the market. The need is predominantly for rented homes, with a shortage of smaller homes and larger houses for families. The Strategic Housing Market Assessment 2009 found is owner occupied and 24% private rented 1. Private rental has overtaken the entire social sector, and is becoming the destination tenure for younger households and those on median and lower incomes who cannot afford to buy. that net need for 4+ bedroom homes compared to supply from relets stood at 20:1, compared to 4:1 for one bedroom homes in Bristol 1. From April 2013 benefit deductions for working-age social tenants with rooms surplus to assessed need is likely to result in increased requests for transfer Housing register applicants, including 2100 existing social tenants in 2 bed homes hit by benefit deductions, require 1 bed accommodation. In studio or 1bed affordable homes were let, by 2013 this had fallen to 600 a 25% decline in supply in just 2 years. Housing Register New Applicants 8,562 10,426 10,212 9,928 Transfers 4,180 4,575 4,373 4,432 Total Applicants 12,742 15,001 14,585 14,360 Source : Bristol Housing Register Inside this issue Housing Stock DEMAND Housing Need Housing Register Homelessness Preventing homelessness Effects of Welfare Reform Repossession SUPPLY Planning permissions Housebuilding starts and completions Affordable Housing Supply Letting of affordable homes Right to Buy Sales Market Sales Market Prices Sales Turnover by Price Price Change Over Time Ratio of Lower Quartile House prices to Lower Quartile Earnings Affordability Mortgage Rates Private Rental Market Local Housing Allowance Bristol Rental Market Area Market Rents SUMMARY 1. Wes of England Strategic Housing Market Assessment General needs lets, excludes Sheltered/Elderly as deduction applies only to working age households 1

2 Homelessness Numbers of households at risk of homelessness approaching the council for help is increasing. The council has a duty to house households in priority need (eg families with children or vulnerable people who become homeless. Because of the shortage of affordable homes some households will be helped to find a home in the private sector. With private rents Rising and benefits becoming restricted by welfare reform, it is become increasingly difficult to find a home that these households can afford. Loss of private tenancy as an increasing cause of homelessness is a very concerning trend. The number of homeless family households placed in temporary accommodation whilst awaiting a suitable home has been increasing year on year. Statutory Homelessness Total Homelessness Decisions Duty Accepted Of which reason was loss of private rent tenancy Source: P1E returns Households in Temporary Accommodation Total placements Families Single people Source: P1E returns Preventing Homelessness Prevention services help households to avoid becoming homeless, often by helping to secure, or remain in a private tenancy. Alongside increasing homelessness the number of households approaching the council for help continued to rise. Use of private renting for households seeking help from the council is falling. Increasing demand from households unable to buy is driving up rents at the same time as the capped Local Housing Allowance (LHA) for Households in benefit is failing to keep pace with rent inflation. Source: BCC Prevention Services Effects of Welfare Reform Early effects of Welfare Reform are seen in the increase in applications for Discretionary Housing Payments. 74% of awards were to households affected by under-occupation deductions, 21% for LHA shortfall. After a Q fall, an increase is expected in August with the introduction of Universal Household Benefit Cap. Number of Applications received DHP applications received 2013 compared to 2011 & / / / Apr Jun Aug Oct Dec Feb 2

3 Repossessions The rate of mortgage repossession has been restrained since 2008 by low interest rates and lender forbearance. Landlord and Mortgage Possession Claims and Orders in Bristol A rise in mortgage interest rates predicted for 2016 risks pushing up mortgage repossessions. Landlord possession claims and orders have shown an upward trend from a low point in Source: Ministry of Justice SUPPLY Planning Permissions The number of total applications has fallen by 30% over the past 5 years. Applications for major sites of more than 10 dwellings stand at Development Applications and Decisions 2006/ / / / / /12 City Development Annual Monitoring Report % of their 2007 level. Developments given planning permission have averaged around 2,400 over the past three years, and are yet to recover to pre-credit crunch levels. However, the proportion of all developments granted consent has been above 80% in Bristol, higher than the national average of 70%. Total Decisions Total Granted and are flatted Developments for which the predominantly first-time buyer market had collapsed since the 2008 credit crunch. It remains to be seen whether Government Help to Buy measures (see below) will be able to stimulate development and subsequent purchase market for these units, either from first-time buyers or buy to let investors. The number of homes with planning permission but not started stood at 5,437 in April 2012, down from 8,903 in Almost two thirds of outstanding permissions are concentrated in the city centre 3

4 Housebuilding Starts and Completions Housebuilding continues the decline which began in , with the most dramatic fall in private sector completions. Source: BCC City Development Affordable Housing Supply The delivery of affordable homes has declined steeply since Completions in contain schemes funded under the Affordable Housing Programme which have continued to be built out. Since 2010 affordable completions are down by 60%. However starts of affordable homes by Housing Associations at April 2013 are down by 80% and this will be reflected in lower levels of completions this year. Schemes funded under the government programme for affordable homes are expected to deliver around 100 units in The fall in supply is mainly due to two factors, firstly the introduction of the new Affordable Homes Programme with reduced funding had a slow start leaving a gap in delivery, secondly that on average, 30% of affordable homes have been delivered through S106 requirements on private residential developments, and this supply has declined with the slump in private sector building.. Source: HCA (amended) (Excludes HBD/Firstbuy market stimulus programmes not defined as Affordable Housing) Letting of Affordable Homes The greater part of supply of affordable housing comes through re-letting of existing stock when tenants leave. In an economic climate where tenants have fewer affordable alternatives BCC relets are declining, total RP lets will be reduced next year because of the fall in completions of new affordable homes described above which have made up a proportion of their overall lettings.. 4

5 Council Homes Housing Association All New BCC New Lettings Financial year Transfers Apps Total Transfers Apps HA Total 2009/ / / n/a n/a Source ELASH Council Lets/HCB HA Lets (excludes mutual exchange) Demand for transfers is likely to increase from working-age social tenants who have a home which is larger than their assessed need have benefit deductions applied from April Right to Buy Sales Applications Completions Source : BCC Home Ownership In April 2012 the government introduced changes to the Right to Buy increasing maximum discounts from 36,000 to 75,000 or 60% of open market value for houses, 70% for flats. Since the announcement the rate of applications has more than doubled, and sales tripled. This trend is likely to continue wiping out any gains under the council s new house building programme Private Housing Market The volume of market sales has dropped, reflecting the slump in the building of new homes. At the same time, and related to this, lack of supply is driving up prices which now match 2006 levels. Market Sales Annual Housing Sales 6,000 5,000 Number 4,000 3,000 2,000 2nd Hand House Sales 2nd Hand Flat Sales New Build House Sales New Build Flat Sales Total 1, Year Source: Hometrack 5

6 Market Prices Bristol Lower Quartile Houseprices , , , , , , , , , ,000 Q4 Q4 Q4 Q4 Q4 Q4 Q Source CLG Sales Turnover by Price Volume of Sales by Value under 50K K K K K K K K K K 800K-1.0M M 1.75M-2.0M Source: Hometrack 2012 The greatest reduction in the volume of property sales in the ,000 price range which reflects the decline in the number of first-time buyers able to access the market. Although aspirations to home ownership remain high, with two thirds of private tenants wanting to own, lack of access to mortgage and deposit is more frequently cited than mortgage affordability as the reason for renting. 3 Recent rises in the price of the cheapest (lower quartile) homes will not ease this situation unless it stimulates development of new homes, and is matched by lower deposit requirements. Affordability Affordability is measured by the relationship between the price of the cheapest homes and lower level earnings. Homes at the bottom of the market still cost almost eight times the earnings of poorer households. Bristol wages have remained level or fallen behind inflation in the current economic climate. 4 3 UK Housing Review 2013 Wilcox & Perry 4 ASHE

7 Mortgage Lending and Interest Rates Since 2009 Bank of England interest rates have stood at 0.5%. Standard variable mortgage lending rates have remained steady at around 4%, for borrowers with a 25-40% deposit. Bank of England base rates are predicted to remain at all time low until , although interest rates to borrowers may rise. Despite historically low interest rates, mortgage lending running at at 140bn a year compared to 350bn in Measures announced in the budget to boost lending appear to be having an effect on the market. The Equity Loan Scheme from April 2013 funds up to 20% of value and is expected to support some 74,000 purchases of new dwellings. A Mortgage guarantee scheme available from January 2014 to provide 12bn in government guarantees is expected to support up to 130 bn in low-deposit mortgages. This scheme covers new and existing properties. In combination the schemes may boost lending to 200bn for their (currently) proposed three year span. Both schemes require 5% deposit, excluding up to a fifth of first-time buyers. Both schemes are open to all (not just first time) buyers on properties up to 600,000. Concerns have been widely expressed that the scheme risks creating house price inflation should the scheme fail to stimulate an increase in housebuilding. A housing bubble could attract overseas investment in the UK market further restricting supply for local buyers. Nationally average prices are expected to rise by 18% over the next 5 years 6, and interest rates begin to increase in Alongside interest rates, affordability is affected by two further factors; the loan to value ratio (LTV), which determines deposit requirements, and income multiples applied by lenders. Outside of the stimulus schemes, lenders are requiring higher deposits, and lending lower multiples. Loan to value ratios between 60% and 75% apply currently, the Council of Mortgage Lenders sees LTV gradually returning to 90% by Existing owner-occupiers with equity can and do fund larger deposits. Higher deposit requirement have introduced an effective wealth barrier, as well as an income barrier for first time buyers. Where high LTV mortgages are available, interest rates are also higher. Loans to first time buyers have increased by 42% over last year, but net lending is flat, signalling that existing owners are paying off debt while interest rates remain low, to avoid pain later, at a time when incomes are falling in real terms. 4 5 Capital Economics 6 Savills 7

8 Private Rental market Private Rents and Welfare Reform Source: BCC Benefits/Alex Fenton LSE This Map shows the size and location of the private rented market in Bristol, and indicates the proportion of the market which is supported by housing benefit in different parts of the city. The Local Housing Allowance (LHA) limits the amount of housing benefit payable by size of home needed. As part of the programme of welfare cuts, the LHA has been restricted in a number of ways. In April 2011 the five bedroom rate was abolished, and rates for smaller homes capped. From the same date, LHA rates were re-based on rents for the bottom 30% of lettings, rather than the middle of the market. From January 2012 single people under 35, rather than 25, were restricted to the rate for a single room. In April 2013 the LHA was up-rated by (the lower of) rent inflation for properties at the bottom of the market.or CPI at 2.2%. From 2014 increases will be capped at actual rent inflation, or 1%, whichever is the lower, drifting further below the market. Local Housing Allowance Bristol Rental Market Area April Room 1 bed 2 bed 3 bed 4 bed 5 bed 2010 (50%ile) (30%ile) n/a 2012 (30%ile) n/a 2013 (30%ile) n/a Source: Valuation Office Agency (VOA) These measures were in part prompted by the rapid increases in the benefit bill as households on low to middle incomes, unable to buy, or to find a social rented home, settled in the private rented sector and needed help with rent. The table above shows that by 2012 rents at the bottom of the market (30%ile) had generally overtaken the 2010 median market rate, demonstrating a rising market. In addition, CPI stood at 5.2% in September 2011, and 8

9 determined the uprate in LHA for April By September 2012 it had fallen to 2.2%. holding down LHA levels for The LHA cuts were intended to hold down the benefit bill. Higher market rents and more expensive affordable rents set at 80% market rates, which will form the major part of future supply of new Housing Association homes will tend to work in the opposite direction as low income households will require benefit to afford a housing association home. Market Rents At a time of growth in the Private Rented Sector, rents are rising. Annual inflation rates show that with the exception of 1 and 2 bed homes, rents have risen above the 2.2% CPI increase in the Local Housing Allowance in bed average rents for the city have risen by 13.6%, moving further ahead of LHA rates and pricing larger families out of the market LHA restriction to 1% will make things worse. Rising private rents may yet have a role to play in stimulation of housing delivery to provide additional new, and good quality private rented homes in the city, and by implication, may make a contribution to the delivery of affordable rented homes on currently stalled sites. Lower Quartile Rents Room 1 bed 2 bed 3 bed 4 bed March ,100 June ,100 Sept ,150 Dec ,196 March ,250 Annual Inflation 7% 0.6% 1.6% 4.1% 13.6% Source: VOA Quarterly Statistics Residential Rents Source: VOA Quarterly Statistics Residential Rents 9

10 Summary Steeply rising rents for larger houses reflect competition from students or young professionals priced out of owner/occupation. An anticipated increase in student numbers at Bristol University may create a need for an additional 3000 bed spaces by Rising rents may also reflect demand for larger shared houses as single households in benefit are restricted to the single room rate of LHA. For larger families seeking private rented homes it means higher rents. Significantly in 2014 the LHA will increase by 1% regardless of actual rent inflation for larger properties which even at the LQ is running very far ahead at 13.6% leaving tenants to find the shortfall. Schemes to ease entry into owner-occupation, if successful, may ease pressure on private renting, but this is very unlikely to significantly lower rents for larger properties to a level that would help larger families on low incomes. For the foreseeable future private renting will remain the default option for younger households. Low interest rates are not sufficient to allow access to purchase in a restricted lending market. Interest rates are forecast to rise from 2016, which, combined with rising houseprices, will further increase the cost of home ownership. Equity Loan and Mortgage guarantee schemes risk inflating house prices rather than increasing supply to the levels required to meet demand, and contributing to the emerging trend of house price inflation. Rising rents and restricted benefit levels are set to squeeze households on the lowest incomes and have been shown to be an increasing cause of homelessness. In an already tight and expensive housing market, shortage of supply means high or even higher prices to rent or buy will prevail. This signals an increase in housing need from households priced out of the market at the same time as a projected fall in the number of new affordable homes being built, and a sharp increase in Right to Buy sales. Useful Links West of England Partnership Strategic Housing Market Assessment: housing/housing-marketpartnership/strategic-housing-marketassessment If you have any queries, please contact Marie Price Strategic Housing Neighbourhoods Amelia Court Pipe Lane Bristol BS1 5AA Tel: Bristol s Housing Strategy my home is my springboard for life : Bristol Core Strategy 10

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