Category Archives: HousingNet Blog

Top 30 HA Financial Data Analysis

HousingNet registered users will find all the raw data for this on their Dashboard. If you’re not a client of ours this is what we do.

We also built this free Postcode search using some of the data we collect to take a look at what’s happening in your area.

Turnover (£) -2016 Turnover (£) -2015 Difference % Change
9,465,114,000 8,881,784,000 583,330,000 6.6%
Group Stock – 2016 Group Stock – 2015 Difference % Change
1,340,337 1,200,984 139,353 11.6%
Operating Surplus (£) – 2016 Operating Surplus (£) – 2015 Difference % Change
2,592,111,000 2,411,376,000 180,735,000 7.5%
Repairs Satisfaction (%) 2016 Repairs Satisfaction (%) 2015 Difference % Change
85 84 1.6 1.9%
Cost Per Home (£) – 2016 (avg.) Cost Per Home (£) – 2015 (avg.) Difference % Change
950 902 48 5.3%
Days to Relet – 2016 (Avg. for 17 HA’s out of 30) Days to Relet – 2015 (Avg. for 17 HA’s out of 30) Difference % Change
29 32 -3 -9.4%
Repairs & Maintenance Cost Per Home (£) – 2016 (Avg. for 13 HA’s out of 30) Repairs & Maintenance Cost Per Home (£) – 2015 (Avg. for 13 HA’s out of 30) Difference % Change
1,036 1,093 -57 -5.2%
Routine R & M Expenditure (£) 2016 Routine R & M Expenditure (£) 2015 Difference % Change
831,837,000 823,030,000 8,807,000 1.1%
Planned Maintenance Expenditure (£) – 2016 Planned Maintenance Expenditure (£) – 2015 Difference % Change
386,942,000 385,225,000 1,717,000 0.4%
Improvement Works (£) – 2016 Improvement Works (£) – 2015 Difference % Change
1,118,092,275 1,077,879,698 40,212,577 3.7%
Void Losses (£) – 2016 Void Losses (£) – 2015 Difference % Change
81,015,000 107,315,000 -26,300,000 -24.5%
Employees – 2016 Employees – 2015 Difference % Change
41,721 39,446 2,275 5.8%
Wages (£) – 2016 Wages (£) – 2015 Difference % Change
1,170,041,000 1,104,446,000 65,595,000 5.9%
Chief executive pay for top 30 HAs- 2016 (£) (avg.) Chief executive pay for top 30 HAs- 2015 (£) (avg.) Difference % Change
237,180 225,081 12,098 5.4%
Chief Executive pay per home 2016 (£) (avg.) Chief Executive pay per home 2015 (£) (avg.) Difference % Change
6 5 1 9.4%


What does 2017 have in store!

OK so I was pretty busy last year and what with no one else being as eloquent as I is when it comes to writing stuff there is a slight gap between the last blog and this one.

Let’s have a recap ….

We launched our Tender & Contract data in June 2016 at CIH Manchester. When I say launched what that actually involved was me wandering round chatting to exhibitors. You would have thought them to be a little miffed but they were very receptive as they hadn’t seen anything like what we were showing them. We’re good with data and as we have a veritable army of researches working away in India we can collect anything and everything that might be of interest. If you didn’t know HousingNet was conceived in Liverpool with help from the Princes Trust and for the last 18 years has been built and compiled from Nagpur India where I have an office and 30 wonderful members of staff.
So our Tender data was released, people were impressed and they bought. This year we’re adding further analysis, BI tools, Bid Management software and lots and lots more data. We also started a Tender Alert Service for companies that didn’t or couldn’t go for the full package – there is no escape from us!

We redesigned our data pages and got better at stripping information annual reports – there are nearly 23,000 records in our library now. We visit every Local Authority website every month collecting Minutes, Planning Applications, Strategic Land Plans and anything else we can lay our hands on. Everything we collect is stripped of useful information and added to our database.

Talking of the database we moved all our large data sets to the Amazon AWS cloud which sped things up a little but more work is required on general coding and code query as we are adding a lot of data every day. The next project, which is nearly finished, is a postcode search which utilises all the data we collect to show what’s going on in your area – we breakdown households, owners, Social Housing in your area, Crime, House Prices / Sales, Planning Applications, average Social and Private rent and other interesting bits and pieces. This is a free service to attract people to the site.

Onwards and upwards people. If you need anything, especially our bank account details, just shout.

Happy 2017

Gaz Summer

HousingNet Dashboard Premium Version

HousingNet Dashboard Premium Licence

I’ve got a new toy!

Happy Friday!

On Wednesday I had an epiphany. I was having a master class from friends who are Qlikview Partners (and that’s a business connection rather than a modern marriage). Qlik is all about data visualisations using business data ie. data in – pie chart out. Jane came out to our office in Nagpur a while ago to train my programming staff on QlikTech but this was all back end stuff and I had to leave the room as it made me feel queasy – I describe myself as an ideas man and I’m not particularly technical – I don’t code, but I know a few people that do.

Qlik has come a long way since then and I’ve been trying to get to grips with their free ‘personal’ version called QlikSense which you can also get Cloud based. So to cut a not very long story even shorter I was rubbish at it so I went to see Jane for my master class. Now I love and can’t stop and have seen the future of HousingNet. It was a lot to fit in on a Wednesday afternoon.

So back to my epiphany, HousingNet collects data and we try to deliver it in a usable format but it doesn’t matter how much data we supply, if you can’t find the answers your looking for, the files would just sit in the ‘Interesting_data’ folder on your PC along with all the other data you’re not too sure what to do with.

So here’s the new plan, we’re adding new data sets to our Data Bank every day, and have collected shed loads of the stuff over the years, so if you have a licence to our data and need a graph, chart, pivot table, KPI report built using any of our data sets then ask and it will be delivered. We’ll figure out the best way of visualising your request, extract the data, put it on a PDF, and send it to you free of charge as many times as you like. If you have other data you would like us to look at, try us, and we’ll see what we can do.

I’ve just been playing around but the possibilities are endless when you consider how much data on Housing we’re holding.

This is Expenditure on Repairs against Group Stock.


Housing Associations Contracts with Local Authorities (click to enlarge)
Housing Association Contracts with London Local Authorities

Land Banking – excluding Government who owns the most Land Registry ‘Land’ titles? (click to enlarge)

Land Banking – HAs and LAs who own the most Land Registry ‘Land’ titles? (click to enlarge)

Now is the time to buy a licence from us. We have a current offer open to Housing Associations – buy a 10 user licence for £1450 before Tuesday evening and we will include our Planning and Contract packages worth £9000. You then not only have access to all the data we hold but also the ability to turn the data into a format useful to you without the need for extra staff and extra expense.

We’re also working on a stock rationalisation algorithm to isolate your outlying properties and to help find the best potential candidates for stock swaps. We should have this ready by the end of next week.

I hope you all have a great weekend.

Qlik here for the answers.

I had a meeting at Viridian yesterday regarding Stock Rationalisation and they were showing me a very impressive in-house developed ‘GisWeb’ tool they’re using to manage their stock. The meeting got me thinking and so now we’re writing an algorithm that will tell us which of your homes are outliers and then show you best stock swap matches – the rest is then up to you.

They also told me they use Qlikview which was of interest as my next meeting of the day was to meet up with friends who are Qlik Partners. We’ve been working with Qlik for a few years and my friends actually came out to our office in Nagpur to give Qlik Training when we first started with them. If you haven’t used Qlik then you can download a free ‘personal’ version called QlikSense but between my two meetings the penny finally dropped. It doesn’t matter how much data I supply, if you can’t do anything with it then it just sits in the ‘umm_quite_interesting’ folder on your PC along with all the other data you’re not too sure what to do with.

This is Expenditure on Repairs against Group Stock.

Housing Associations Contracts with Local Authorities (click to enlarge)
Housing Association Contracts with London Local Authorities

Land Banking – excluding Government who owns the most Land Registry ‘Land’ titles? (click to enlarge)

Land Banking – HAs and LAs who own the most Land Registry ‘Land’ titles? (click to enlarge)

So here’s what we’ll do, if you have a licence to our data and need a graph, chart, pivot table, KPI report etc. built using any of our data sets, put on a PDF, and sent to you we will do this free of charge as many times as you like. If you have other data you would like us to look at, try us, and we’ll see what we can do.

We’re adding new data sets to our Data Bank every day so you can pick and choose what data you need for your reports.

I hope you have a great day.

Phew, what a scorcher!

Happy Monday everyone, I’m back in Nagpur and it looks to be another scorcher today although not the 46.6 degrees we had at the weekend. If I was an ice-cream this is what I would look like ….


… but thankfully I’m not an ice-cream so I just look like a sweaty Brit.
If you don’t know the story I set up HousingNet in 1997 after doctors told me I could no longer be a scuba diving beach bum having had a second back operation. I’ve since had another but we’re all good now that I have a metal rod holding everything together.

I had come back to the UK from the States where a Texan friend Jim, who I met in Australia, and I were knocking out a fake Caesars Palace perfume set outside Caesars Palace in Vegas. We were living in the Treasure Island Casino at the time having left LA because of the earthquake. I’d been away since 1986 (joined the REME then went on a world tour when I realised I was a rubbish mechanic) and arrived back in London where my brother was the Manager of Calthorpe who had the repairs contract for Notting Hill Housing. They gave me a job and let me drive the van to pick up rubbish – it was brilliant as I was re-selling 25% of everything that was being thrown out – take note – recycling pays. So I had the Laminectomy in 95, took ages to recover and moved to New Zealand as I had picked up a residence permit along my travels, came back, moved to Liverpool and bought a computer to turn on, make a square in ‘Paint’, erase it and then turn it off again. I had an idea to start an after-hours call handling service as we, my brother and I, knew we could fix a lot of the jobs over the phone and started ‘Com1 UK’. Hang on, Chris and I, doing back to back 12 hour shifts on the phone, time for a re-think. Remember the Housing Association Year Book? I do. I learnt how to build a web page and put all Housing Association addresses online and called it HousingNet.

I came out to India in 1999 as I had ideas and no money. I ended up in Nagpur, met Ajay, rented a flat, started an office and here we all are today harvesting Housing data. I’m based in London but my office and nearly all my staff are here in Nagpur.

So what do we do? We have built our reputation on having very up-to-date data on Senior Managers working in Housing Associations and Local Authorities. We collect just about everything you put on the web that would be of interest to the wider community and the business users who are our main clients. At the beginning of this year we started collecting planning applications with a particular interest in ‘housing’ oddly enough. By the middle of June we will be more up to date than any other planning application resource in the UK – eat my shorts Barbour!

In January a client of ours told us that if we could supply tender data they would pay us lots more money for the licence so we started looking in to it. Initially I thought it was simple. OJEU supply the tenders, we take all the historical data for free and pick up the daily ones as they come out – easy money! How wrong I was. People, if you’re involved in tenders you have my admiration / sympathy. What a nightmare! We’re programmers here so we work with very large data sets and OJEU is like a story where the beginning sounds really exciting, the middle is always missing and the end is like watching the last episode of Undercover on repeat – it makes no sense.

So I’m here, in the Orange City, in the height of Summer, sorting it out. We’re collecting all Contract Registers, harvesting every tender from all Procurement Portals, all Local Authority and, where available, HA expenditure sheets, LA cabinet minutes, news stories relating to contracts and anything else we can get our hands on. So the question is, what do you want to know and most importantly would you pay for it?

Our clients include: Sovereign, ForVivia, Orchard, Capita, United Utilities, The Bank of Tokyo, Paragon, Viridian, Bracknell Forest, BDO, Mobysoft, Willmott Dixon, Aldwyck, CHIC, Kier, SSE, BSkyB, Argos, BMG, British Gas, Lovell, Northgate, Mountjoy, Campbell Tickell, Civica, Orbit, THFC, VINCI … I could go on but you get the idea.

I’m back in the UK on Saturday and after 19 years of hiding behind email I now actually go and visit people if they invite me. So drop me a line if you would like to know more about what we do and how we can help you.

Hope you all have a great week.


Why we built our own UK Planning Application Database

I had a meeting with a client at the beginning of the year to talk about obtaining OJEU tenders. I’ve stayed away from them in the past until I realised what other companies are charging for the service and that you can obtain the raw data for free. We’ve since worked our way through the TED database and collected 91,000 tenders of interest which we’re now organising and live tenders will be on HousingNet by the end of this week.

But I digress …. at the meeting we also discussed obtaining data on new build homes. There is data out there, but again, very expensive so we decided the only way to do it properly was to collect and analyse every UK planning application. We built software to manage the processes and have a team of six who enter the information on our system, isolate records based on key words and update every application of interest.

We are particularly interested in New Build, Conversions, Basements, Lofts and Extensions. We collect data on Office 2 Home, HMO’s, Student Housing, S106, Applicants, Agents and Decisions and so far we’ve collected 94,796 applications, added additional data to 8,406 of them and recorded 49,755 new homes.

The data in itself is fascinating: from seeing which Housing Association has the most applications refused to the number of applications relating to different tree types – Oak 54, Beech 24, Conifer 16 and the ever popular Thuja 4.
The stats for February show Broadland District Council accepting applications for 3535 new homes and Cornwall County Council being the busiest with the highest number of accepted (88) and refused (37) applications.

Our priority was new build but the more we looked at the data the more possibilities we found. Living in South London as I do we are surrounded by basement and loft conversions so we started pulling out this data along with ‘extensions’. Companies are currently using this data to look for marketing opportunities in areas where planning applications are more likely to be accepted, agent league tables and reasons for refusal.

We can compare this data to the 13.2M corporate property titles we have and the 4.2M Social Homes we’ve isolated from that data set. We also use House Price/Sale data and Companies House data to help clients understand where opportunities lie.

Tomorrow we’ll be putting the planning search online and making it free to use for a while as we would welcome your feedback.

If you haven’t used HousingNet before it works like this – we collect data faster than we can get it online so clients purchase a licence to access our online data, maps, tables and exports and then if there is any combination of data or analysis they can’t export from the site we offer a 24 hour turnaround to deliver any bespoke data set free of charge.

HousingNet development is driven by our client’s requests, if you want it we’ll do our best to get it and deliver it in the format you need. View our data packages here.

Social Homes valued at over £500,000

Happy New Year all.

Now that we’ve valued nearly all social homes in England we can start interrogating the data and we’re open to suggestions on this. We welcome your input so please let us know your ideas and we’ll trawl the data to find the answers.

We have a breakdown of properties valued at £300K – £499K and over £500K that we’ve added to the site for our registered users. The data is broken down between Housing Associations and Local Authority stock and then Freehold / Leasehold and Houses / Flats. This snapshot of the data is showing the total homes from HAs and LAs valued at >£500,000 and their total value.

District Total Homes Total Value
CITY OF WESTMINSTER 10507 10,631,697,106
KENSINGTON AND CHELSEA 9814 9,973,303,639
LAMBETH 12284 9,260,658,437
CAMDEN 7266 6,399,516,467
ISLINGTON 8451 6,381,363,664
HAMMERSMITH AND FULHAM 6651 5,986,773,492
HACKNEY 6269 4,447,997,781
WANDSWORTH 5597 4,137,797,080
TOWER HAMLETS 5227 3,422,338,031
SOUTHWARK 4344 2,857,326,031
RICHMOND UPON THAMES 2906 2,538,986,321
BRENT 1994 1,335,670,245
BARNET 1286 1,113,373,236
LEWISHAM 1719 1,075,060,804
EALING 1352 1,065,367,650
HARINGEY 1510 1,000,692,089
MERTON 1023 689,202,489
ELMBRIDGE 594 441,597,491
GREENWICH 649 433,177,005
BROMLEY 559 388,945,931
SEVENOAKS 564 361,506,474
HILLINGDON 349 353,061,921
HOUNSLOW 437 314,167,078
CAMBRIDGE 408 283,629,516
WAVERLEY 414 258,471,262
CROYDON 323 202,483,812
SOUTH BUCKS 242 197,012,613
HARROW 297 196,595,687
TUNBRIDGE WELLS 307 187,973,986
WOKING 276 183,555,334
EAST HERTFORDSHIRE 284 178,851,312
CORNWALL 306 178,224,981

To calculate stock and value we use a combination of the Land Registry Corporate database, NROSH, House Price data and an awful lot of data scraping and cleansing.

If you have an idea for data analysis please send it over. We will share all the output with you whether or not you are registered on Housingnet.

Every Housing Association, on purchasing an unlimited licence from us, can access all their own Land Registry titles including geo-co-ordinates along side our normal data service.

House Price Valuation

We’ve been working with the Land Registry Corporate data set for a couple of years and the bulk of that time has been spent cleansing the data and adding geo-positioning co-ordinates for each social home. In May this year we started to look at portfolio valuation but the lack of bedroom data meant that there was a lot of guess work involved and the results didn’t stand up to scrutiny.

We set about collecting bedroom data and along the way we amassed a large amount of information on individual properties which 6 members of the team add to every day. Through this ‘big data’ exercise we started to get interest from Estate Agents and property websites resulting in an exclusivity licence with and other opportunities for data cleansing and analysis.

Property Ownership Midmoor Road SW12

Property Ownership Midmoor Road SW12

Housing Associations own a vast amount of property and not all of it is social housing so we removed everything that wasn’t a flat or a house. We spent months cleansing incorrect road names, Postcodes, door numbers and house/flat designations and wrote countless algorithms to tweak the process each time.

1. Firstly we removed Land Registry Titles that was not a home – examples of this are – student/nursing accommodation, electricity sub-stations, shops, business units and even a bowling alley.
2. The initial property valuation exercise looked at any properties sold since 1995 ie. exact matches from ‘House Price Data’.
3. We then used various criteria to segregate the homes as either Flats or Houses and attached bedroom data to each record.
4. CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) was used to calculate the current price of the property.
5. Based on the initial match with Price Paid data and the number of bedrooms we took out the average price for flat and house based on the Lower Layer Super Output Area or Postcode level, whichever was more accurate.
6. Using the average price we attached a value to the remaining properties and then used the House Price Index to cross check our results.

Finally, last Wednesday, we got something we were happy with for L&Q

Total Social Housing homes: £18.12 billion
Freehold : £15.67 billion
Leasehold : £2.45 billion

It’s not exact but it is, we believe, a very good indication of the current market value.

Currently we’re collecting every Social Housing new build including room sizes, client, contractor, construction type etc. Calculating valuation on 4.6 million social homes and enhancing the data of 3000 homes a week.

Every Housing Association, on purchasing a multi-user licence from us, can access all their own Land Registry titles including geo-co-ordinates along side our normal data service.

What’s new on HousingNet?

We have just recently launched a searchable database of the Land Registry Commercial & Corporate Ownership data set which we’ve set up on Amazingly Google Cloud is free for the first year but with no support the set up did have us scratching our heads for awhile. But now we have 13.2M records to search through and the results are very interesting and it’s not all about Social Housing. Did you know that Oxfam own 476 shops, Cancer Research 473, British Heart Foundation 662 and WH Smith only 273 which includes their hospital shops.

Using the Land Registry Data from 2014 and 2015 we’ve been looking at the movement of property titles with regard to how many new titles were added and how many were lost – this will include Right to Own, Shared Ownership and any other private sale. How many titles were transferred to another corporate organisation and how many new titles were transferred from another corporate. Over the next couple of weeks we will be looking at how these figures compare with the newly released RSR for 2015.
View the stock table here.

Housing stock v Land Registry Data comparison

Land Registry are relaxing the rules on the National Dataset licence usage which now means we can share title data with our corporate clients – as long as we pay them more obviously. What this essentially means to you/us is we can now cross reference your data with the National Dataset.

Having been cleaning the Social Housing titles in the Dataset for the past year we now have access to better quality data than Land Registry themselves and here are a few examples of work we can now carry out:

1. We can now compare Housing Association stock data with the National Dataset to make sure your titles are in order. We are offering this as a free service to Housing Organisations who have an active multiple users HousingNet licence.

2. If the product or service you are offering is for private home owners only you can cut down on your direct marketing costs by having us remove all Social Housing and Commercial titles from your mailing lists making you huge savings on direct mail.

3. You might have a database of 100,000 addresses you need us to check or require a monthly update. Whatever your requirements please write or call 07779 715 605 for a chat.