More than a third of housing associations expect to ramp up development after 2015 funded by new sources of finance and income from commercial activity.
Auditor Baker Tilly’s annual Health of the Sector survey reveals more landlords are optimistic about building a larger number of homes after 2015 than they were a year ago.
The survey of 154 social landlords across the UK, reveals just 24.6 per cent of associations expect to reduce development after 2015, compared with more than 51 per cent when asked the same question last year.
A total of 35 per cent of landlords now expect to increase development after 2015, compared with 16 per cent last year.
Gary Moreton, head of social housing at Baker Tilly, said: “In past years when we have asked about development it has been on the decrease. This is now saying people are looking to increase development.”
The survey shows landlords are increasingly turning away from traditional debt finance to other forms of funding, such as bonds and pension funds.
A total of 82 per cent of respondents have considered or are considering alternative funding, up from 75 per cent last year, continuing a trend.
Mr Moreton said there is now a debate in the sector about whether government grant is even needed, or whether landlords are better off subsidising development themselves.
“This debate was not there a few years ago,” he added.
The survey also suggests landlords are warming to the Homes and Communities Agency’s value for money standard, with 50 per cent saying it has been beneficial, compared with 32 per cent last year.
This is mirrored in Scotland, where 55 per cent of 36 landlords want to see a similar policy, compared with 38 per cent in 2013.