Lack of affordable housing delivery is the smoking gun behind the UK housing crisis, latest ONS data shows

The latest data released by the ONS on the supply of affordable housing across the UK shows that: –


  • There were 60,000 affordable homes supplied (built, bought or rehabilitated) between April 2017 and March 2018, with the best available data suggesting Scotland comparatively supplied the most affordable homes per person (approx. 16 homes per 10,000 people).


  • England has seen a larger change than other countries in the types of affordable homes being delivered – there has been a shift from social rent to other sub-market rent homes.


  • Variability in the number of affordable homes delivered over the last 10 years. Across the UK there has been an average of 62,400 affordable homes delivered annually, with a high of 78,800 between April 2014 and March 2015, and a low of 43,500 between April 2015 and March 2016.


  • Differences in the average number of affordable homes delivered each year between April 2008 to March 2018. England (50,800) shows a slight decrease in the long term. Wales (2,400) shows no major change. Meanwhile, Scotland (7,100) and Northern Ireland (2,200) show increases in long term trends.


  • March 2018 – affordable homes delivered per head of population (per 10,000 people);
  • England = 8.5
  • Wales = 7.4
  • Scotland = 15.8
  • Northern Ireland = 12.3


  • Affordable homes built, bought, or rehabilitated (April 2017 to March 2018);
  • England = 47,100 [78.1%]
  • Wales = 2,300 [3.8%]
  • Scotland = 8,600 [14.3%]
  • Northern Ireland = 2,300 [3.8%]
  • UK = 60,300



  • As of April 2018 there were about 5 million homes in the social housing sector across the UK, representing about a sixth of all properties, and this proportion has been stable over the past 10 years.


  • Scotland had the highest proportion of homes in the social sector in 2018 (22% of homes).

Please find below comment from Marc von Grundherr, director of lettings and estate agent, Beham and Reeves.

Director of Benham and Reeves, Marc von Grundherr, commented: 

“If you’re looking for the smoking gun behind the UK’s housing crisis, look no further than the hugely inadequate levels of affordable housing being delivered to the sector. Just 60,000 homes delivered in a year and no change in the level of social housing in a decade is pitiful, to say the least, and suggests that the Government has given up trying altogether.

Affordability is an issue not just in the London market but nationwide, and an issue that is largely exacerbated by a failure to build more homes at all levels to keep pace with a growing population and an increase in buyer demand. If we’re going to alleviate some of the strain on the market we must build more and this, in turn, will help boost affordability.”

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