Housing association Aster Group built more than 1,100 homes between April 2018 and the end of March 2019 as part of its £2bn investment plan which forecasts a build programme of over 10,000 homes during the next seven years.
Aster’s delivery of 1,156 units in the 12-month period was a 23% increase on the previous year. It built homes for open-market sale and social and affordable rent while also increasing the number of shared ownership units by 27% compared to the previous year.
Aster operates a mixed development strategy that sees it build houses for a range of tenures to help increase choice in the market. This model allows it to avoid relying solely on income from homes delivered via section 106 agreements.
Almost 100 of the homes the group built in 2018/19 were via joint ventures. A further 80 came from its land-led programme and 28 homes were delivered via community land trusts.
Meanwhile, Aster expanded its footprint, exchanging contracts on new schemes in Surrey and West Sussex – the first time it has built homes in these counties. These included its third joint venture with Galliford Try, which is delivering a 130-home development in Horsham.
Amanda Williams, group development director at Aster Group, said:
“Surpassing the thousand home mark is a great milestone but our key focus is offering choice. Above all, the priority now is to ensure that the housing sector delivers the variety of homes the UK needs.
“We’ve invested in our team and can develop homes of different tenures via a range of methods and partners. Our development strategy is aimed at ensuring people get the right home for them, whether that is via affordable rent or one of our shared ownership properties.”
More than 90% of the homes Aster built in 2018/19 were affordable housing – 444 for affordable rent, 156 for social rent and 453 for affordable homeownership options like shared ownership. These add to its current portfolio of over 30,000 homes across the south of England.