Our strategic housing market assessment

Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA)

A strategic housing market assessment (SHMA) is required to set out the number of homes needed in future to inform local plans and housing strategies, which seek to meet housing need, support a healthy economy and achieve a ‘balanced’ housing market.

In addition, every three months a Housing Market Bulletin is produced to show recent changes in house prices, numbers of sales, affordability, and other market forces.

How our SHMA has developed

  • 2008: First Strategic Housing Market Assessment for the area was published, commissioned by the Housing Board based on 2005/6 data.
  • 2009: The SHMA was updated using 2007/8 data, labelled “2009 version”.
  • 2010: Updated the numbers based on 2008/9 data. Refined the method used to make best use of existing information, rather than commissioning ‘primary’ research. Following consultation the updated chapters were launched, labelled “2010 version”.
  • 2012: Updated using 2009/10 data and re-grouped 37 chapters and numerous appendices into fifteen new chapters. These were labelled “SHMA 2012” and published in April 2013. In 2012, Cambridge Econometrics and SQW Ltd were commissioned by the local authorities of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough UA to undertake a study to update the economic scenario projections developed (in 2009) for the Cambridgeshire Development Study. The report published in November 2012 is available here.
  • 2013: New National Planning Policy Framework launched and Regional Spatial Strategies were revoked. The SHMA’s role expanded into providing an objective assessment of need for all homes, as well as for affordable homes. Cambridgeshire County Council Research Group provided forecasts in Population, Housing and Employment Forecasts Technical Report 2013; a key ingredient in assessing future housing need and was used to update Chapter 12 Forecasts for homes of all tenures which used 2010/11 and 2011/12 data. Alongside Chapter 12, we updated Chapter 13, Affordable housing need to help us compare “all homes” need to “affordable housing” need. These updates were published in May 2013. After this, all the other chapters were updated to reflect 2010/11 and 2011/12 data and Census 2011 results. At the same time the government clarified its guidance on undertaking housing and economic assessments. In December 2013 we released all the “supporting” chapters for consultation. The resulting full set of chapters, labelled “SHMA 2013” provides our foundation for future monitoring and development of the SHMA.
  • 2014: In November 2014, Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire Local Plan examination started and examined evidence from the SHMA and changes since SHMA 2013 was published.
  • 2015: Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire objectively assessed housing need further evidence document was published.
  • 2016: East Cambridgeshire and Forest Heath objectively assessed housing need documents were published.
  • 2017: Huntingdonshire objectively assessed housing need document was published.

Summary of our objectively assessed housing need

This section provides a summary of the objectively assessed need (OAN) for housing in the area, district by district.

  • Cambridge: Cambridge’s further evidence identifies an overall housing need of 14,000 dwellings for the 2011 to 2031 period. The council’s evidence base identifies an affordable housing need of 10,402 dwellings for the same period.
  • East Cambridgeshire: East Cambridgeshire’s OAN update identifies an overall housing need of 12,900 dwellings and an affordable housing need of 2,854 dwellings for the 2014 to 2036 period.
  • Fenland: The SHMA 2013 evidence base identifies an overall housing need for Fenland of 12,000 dwellings for the 2011 to 2031 period. Greater Cambridge’s evidence base identifies an affordable housing need for Fenland of 5,814 dwellings for the same period.
  • Huntingdonshire: Huntingdonshire’s OAN update identifies an overall housing need of 20,100 dwellings and an affordable housing need of 7,897 dwellings for the 2011 to 2036 period.
  • South Cambridgeshire: South Cambridgeshire’s further evidence identifies an overall housing need of 19,500 dwellings for the 2011 to 2031 period. The council’s evidence base identifies an affordable housing need of 5,573 dwellings for the same period.
  • West Suffolk: Forest Heath’s OAN update identifies an overall housing need of 6,800 dwellings and an affordable housing need of 2,638 dwellings for the 2011 to 2031 period. The SHMA 2013 evidence base identifies an overall housing need for St Edmundsbury of 11,000 dwellings and an affordable housing need of 3,437 dwellings for the same period.
  • Housing Market Area: The note Update on Objectively Assessed Need in the Cambridge Sub-Region Housing Market Area provides an update on objectively assessed need across the housing market area in February 2017.
  • Peterborough: Peterborough’s SHMA update identifies an overall housing need of 24,500 to 25,125 dwellings for the 2011 to 2036 period and an affordable housing need of 13,647 dwellings for the 2014 to 2036 period.
  • Combined Authority: The table below provides a summary of the updated housing figures for the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area in July 2017, and reflects Peterborough City Council’s agreement to accommodate 2,500 dwellings from the Cambridge housing market area.
Dwellings per year Overall housing need Affordable housing need Overall housing target
Cambridge 700 520 700
East Cambridgeshire 586 130 518
Fenland 600 291 550
Huntingdonshire 804 316 840
Peterborough 1005 620 1105
South Cambridgeshire 975 279 975
Total for Combined Authority 4670 2156 4688

Source: Cambridgeshire Research Group 2017

Huntingdonshire Objectively Assessed Housing Need 2017

A report by Cambridgeshire County Council Research Group to support Huntingdonshire District Council in objectively assessing and evidencing development needs for housing, both market and affordable. The report Huntingdonshire Objectively Assessed Housing Need April 2017 provides an updated objectively assessed need (OAN) for housing in Huntingdonshire for the period 2011 to 2036, which builds on the existing SHMA 2013 evidence base, but also takes the opportunity to use any updated other evidence, such as national forecasts and projections, in that process.

East Cambridgeshire Objectively Assessed Housing Need 2016

Two reports by Cambridgeshire County Council Research Group to support East Cambridgeshire District Council in objectively assessing and evidencing development needs for housing, both market and affordable. The report East Cambridgeshire Objectively Assessed Housing Need October 2016 provides an updated objectively assessed need (OAN) for housing in East Cambridgeshire for the period 2014 to 2036, which builds on the existing SHMA 2013 evidence base and the January 2016 report, but also takes the opportunity to use any updated other evidence, such as national forecasts and projections, in that process. The October 2016 update follows the release of new household projections and economic forecasts since January 2016.

Forest Heath Objectively Assessed Housing Need 2016

Two reports by Cambridgeshire County Council Research Group to support Forest Heath District Council in objectively assessing and evidencing development needs for housing, both market and affordable. Alongside the report Forest Heath District Market Signals and Objectively Assessed Housing Need February 2016 by Peter Brett Associates, the report Forest Heath Objectively Assessed Housing Need January 2016 provides an updated objectively assessed need (OAN) for housing in Forest Heath for the period 2011 to 2031, which builds on the existing SHMA 2013 evidence base, but also takes the opportunity to use any updated other evidence, such as national forecasts and projections, in that process. The update Forest Heath Objectively Assessed Housing Need August 2016 follows the release of new household projections and economic forecasts since January 2016.

SHMA 2013

Population, Housing and Employment Forecasts Technical Report 2013

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Joint Strategic Planning Unit and Chief Planning Officers commissioned Cambridgeshire County Council Research and Performance Team to produce this technical report to add value and provide guidance and support in developing homes and jobs targets in future stages of local plans.

SHMA 2012

All chapters in the SHMA from 2012 onwards have the following new, standardised sections: Summary and contents page; Introduction; Facts and figures; Analysis; Background information.

Each section is colour coded to help navigate your way around the SHMA. The footer includes date of publication and page number. Older SHMA versions provide all the archived chapters and appendices which have been replaced, updated or merged into the relevant chapter since they were first published.

SHMA 2010

SHMA 2009

SHMA 2008