Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA)

The Cambridge sub-region's Strategic Housing Market Assessment (or SHMA) provides a robust and credible assessment of our area's housing market. The facts and figures in the SHMA are updated continuously, reflecting changes in market signals.

Quick SHMA update

New guidance has been issued, local plan examinations have been completed or are underway, plans have been revised and updated, so it seemed a good moment to review where each district's local plan is up to, and what the housing figures look like in Spring 2017. A new page gives a quick summary of the published figures for the seven districts in our area, and links to the relevant studies and plans where more detail is set out.


  • 2008: first Strategic Housing Market Assessment for the area was published, commissioned by the sub-regional housing board (CRHB) and based on 2005/6 data. Click here for SHMA 2008.
  • 2009: the SHMA was updated using 2007/8 data, labelled "2009 version". Click here for SHMA 2009.
  • 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". Click here for SHMA 2010.
  • 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. Click here for SHMA 2012.
  • 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 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. Click here for the current SHMA 2013.
  • 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.
  • Spring 2017: A new page provides a summary of the objectively assessed need (OAN) for housing in the area.

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.