Strategic housing and market assessment [SHMA]

1. Local planning authorities are required to produce a strategic housing market assessment (SHMA) under the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).1Designing Buildings: the construction wiki,  ‘Strategic Housing Market Assessments’,  accessed 21 January 2023

2. A strategic housing and market assessment (SHMA) is used by local authorities to assess the housing needs and demands within their area.

3. The purpose of an SHMA is to identify the number and type of homes that are needed to meet the current and future demand of the local population, as well as to understand the current housing market conditions.

4. The assessment is used to inform the development of local housing strategies and policies and to provide the evidence base for the Local Plan.

5. The SHMA is used to inform local authorities’ decisions on how best to meet their housing needs. This includes identifying areas where there is a need for more affordable housing or specialist accommodation for certain groups.

6. An SHMA typically includes an analysis of:

  1. population and household projections,
  2. the existing housing stock,
  3. housing affordability, and
  4. housing demand from different groups such as first-time buyers, renters, and older people.

7. It also looks at the housing market conditions and trends, as well as the availability of land for housing development.

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