Regulator’s analysis shows large increase in RSL development spend

Home building stockExpenditure by Scotland’s Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) on development, including spending on new homes, has risen by 24%, to £807 million, the Scottish Housing Regulator has uncovered.

Initial analysis from the Regulator of RSLs’ 2016/17 audited financial statements also shows that capital grants from the Scottish Government to RSLs are up by 32% to £336m, and new borrowing is up by 47% to £371m.

Interest payable on outstanding debt rose by 6%, to £167m. This increase is mainly due to the higher level of RSL borrowing, along with the re-financing of old pre-credit crunch loans with new loans.

Overall turnover – RSLs’ income from goods and services – was £1,560m, a fall of 1.6% on the previous year. Turnover from social housing activities was £1,363m, a small increase of 1%. Turnover from RSLs’ other activities fell by 16% to £197m. One of the reasons for this was a reduction in the provision of RSL care and support services.

Defined benefit pension schemes – in which the benefit on retirement relates to the employee’s average or final salary – continue to operate in a challenging environment. In aggregate RSLs recorded an actuarial loss of £42m in defined benefit schemes in the year to March 2017.

RSLs’ financial statements are now available in an accessible format. You can read the data, carry out your own analysis and benchmarking here. If there is any additional data that you would find useful, please contact the Regulator at shr@scottishhousingregulator.gsi.gov.uk.

The Regulator will publish detailed analysis and regulatory comment during 2018 as part of its annual review of the RSL sector’s financial position.