Hightown Housing Association, based in Hemel Hempstead, built proportionately more new homes last year than any other UK housing association, according to an influential league table.

It topped a table produced by Inside Housing, a leading publication for the social housing industry, showing the rate of growth achieved by the nation’s housing associations in 2015-16.

Hightown, which now manages more than 5,000 homes in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, completed 343 new properties last year – representing a growth in its stock of 7.3%.

Inside Housing’s annual survey also showed that Hightown was bucking the overall trend. Completions in the social housing sector were down “substantially” on the previous year. The ‘Top 50 Biggest Builders’ of all housing associations (including Hightown), revealed they completed 20% fewer homes in the last financial year than in 2014-15.

Earlier this year, Hightown reached the milestone of its 5,000th property when it completed the Park Lane scheme, which included 70 homes for affordable rent and 15 for shared ownership sale, on the site of the former Royal Mail sorting office in Hemel Hempstead town centre. Hightown owns and manages over 2,100 homes in Dacorum.

Hightown expects to deliver 1,200 new affordable homes over the next three years. These include the 130-home, shops and public square development now taking shape on Maylands Business Park in Maylands Avenue, Hemel Hempstead.

Chief Executive David Bogle said: “With more people priced out of the local market every year and homeless numbers growing, it is important that we keep building new affordable homes. At the last count there were 68,560 households living in temporary accommodation in the UK, and we know the local trend is not getting better.

“It’s good that our work in developing much-needed affordable homes has been acknowledged. Our aim is to continue our rate of development so we can provide more homes for those who can’t otherwise afford to buy or rent.”