UK house prices not affected by "successful" social housing, says NHBC Foundation study

Catherine Neilan
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"Pepper-potting" - where social and private homes are located next to each other - will not lower prices (Source: Getty)

Calling all nimbys. It's time to change your mind about social housing.

New research suggests that social housing does not affect property prices on developments that "successfully integrate" the two types of tenure.

As long as the design and quality of the properties are high, "pepper-potting" - where social and private homes are located next to each other - will not lower prices, and can actually increase social cohesion, the research, carried out by the NHBC Foundation in collaboration with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), found.

The report urges house builders and social landlords to consider developing a wider range of house types and sizes to "stabilise neighbourhoods".

"This would encourage residents to move from private rented to purchase or for those in apartments to move into family housing," the researchers said.

However, the report said more work needs to be done to establish the best way to manage mixed-tenure developments. Over-popular areas can become gentrified and drive out those on low incomes, while high levels of privately-rented properties can "damage community cohesion" because of the high turnover of residents and lack of accountability "from absentee landlords," it warned.

Nick Raynsford, chairman of the NHBC Foundation, said: “The move to promote integrated tenure over the past two decades is entirely understandable and appropriate. But inevitably questions have been raised about how this is best achieved and how to respond to potential problems.
“This report reviews the evidence about tenure integration in new housing developments and provides a very useful summary covering a range of different themes. Most of the conclusions are encouraging.
“The evidence does not suggest that there are immovable barriers to successful mixed-tenure developments, and demonstrates that fears that such developments will threaten the value of owner-occupied housing are not substantiated. They do point to the need for careful planning and good design to ensure the creation of successful communities and they reinforce the case for high-quality management.”

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