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Cambridge Centre for Housing & Planning Research


The report examines rental rates of return in the housing association sector as compared to those observed in the private rented sector between 1998/99 and 2007/08 at national as well as at lower geographical levels.

Since 2007 Dataspring has analysed rents and rates of return in social and private rented sectors over the period commencing from 1998/99. This paper updates the analysis to 2007/08 while making necessary amendments to data for previous years to account for changing definitions in the latest dataset. It also examines the pattern of changes since the beginning of the observation period at various geographical levels. 

One of the main objectives of this study is to scrutinise the housing association sector’s rental development in the context of the rent restructuring regime as well as helping to understand whether HA rents are adequate enough to cover the costs of managing and maintaining stock and to help support investment. 

In equity terms it is also important to comprehend the extent to which economic subsidy, reflected in varying rates of return, varies between different areas.


Chihiro Udagawa

Daniel Banks

Christine Whitehead

Jennie Spenceley

Publication Date

16th December 2009