Scroll Top

First look at end-of-year data reveals key housing sector trends

Housemark has published the first look at year-end data for key housing sector performance metrics in 2023/24.
John Wickenden cropped

These include current tenant arrears, vacancy rates, electrical safety and Tenant Satisfaction Measure gas safety compliance, all with 2023/24 performance results based on ‘snapshots’ taken on the last day of the reporting year.

Housemark’s latest monthly Pulse Survey, which collected and analysed data from approximately 170 UK landlords over March 2024, showed on average, a 10% month-on-month decrease in tenant arrears with notable reductions across all quartiles as landlords prepare accounts for year-end reporting.

Compared to 2023, arrears have remained stable, demonstrating a positive trend, with landlords managing to collect rent from tenants effectively, reduce revenue loss, despite issues such as the ongoing cost of living crisis.

Similarly, there has been a 15% year-on-year reduction in the percentage of homes vacant but available to let, which shows that the housing sector is beginning to recover to pre-2020 rates. However, Housemark forecasts reveal that it will take a further 12-18 months for this to flow through into improved re-let times, which are currently averaging six weeks.

Whilst housing providers have also improved performance on gas safety in the past 12 months, with a higher percentage of landlords (45%) reporting 100% compliance, this figure is still down from the two thirds of landlords at full compliance in 2019. The median result for this regulatory TSM shows 99.98% of all social homes having an up-to-date gas safety certificate at year-end.

John Wickenden, Research Manager at Housemark, said: “It is really encouraging to be able to highlight improved performance from housing providers on some key safety areas that will be reflected in Tenant Satisfaction Measures for 2023/24.

“Our data clearly shows that whilst some metrics are improving, current headwinds and post pandemic recovery are still highlighting areas for improvement. For instance, in 2019, Housemark data showed that over two-thirds of landlords recorded 100% compliance with gas safety, now it is fewer than half.”

John added: “Our qualitative data from landlords also highlights that additional barriers to gas safety checks have emerged as a result of fuel poverty. Gas engineers are finding more tenants with no money on the gas meter. This further indicator of the cost-of-living crisis is revealing new risks and vulnerabilities at a time when support agencies are at breaking point.”

Other highlights in the latest monthly Pulse Survey include:

  • Gaps in data are impacting landlords’ understanding of tenants’ needs and preferences, leading to a shift away from digital-by-default, which has been linked to lower satisfaction rates. Many landlords are pivoting to ‘digital-by-choice’ and offering a multi-channel service to drive increased satisfaction.
  • Annualised 2023/24 complaints figures show a 18% rise in volumes – with a UK-wide median of 51.3 Stage 1 and 2 complaints per 1,000 properties. With English landlords’ reporting systems still masking dissatisfaction, there remains a disconnect between formal complaint volumes and Housing Ombudsman cases under the new Complaint Handling Code. At a time when tenant satisfaction with complaint handling is sitting at 34%, this is a metric to watch.
  • Housemark data reveals a steady decline in the proportion of repairs completed within target time from 87% in December to 83% in March. While reducing ‘work in progress’ backlog will have short-term impact on repairs completion targets., landlords are advised to monitor to ensure that this downward dip in performance does not further impact overall perceptions of the service.

In June, Housemark will reveal the sector’s first full look at the 2023/24 TSM results for English landlords, with an exclusive comparative analysis of financial metrics set to follow in October.

Related Posts