The UK has been facing a housing crisis for years and the National Housing Federation claim we are only building around half of the homes needed to address this crisis. Their research tells them many people are unable to move out of their parents homes to start their own families because they can’t afford to move. Others are constantly on the verge of losing their homes because they can’t keep up with the rent or mortgage repayments. In light of these findings the NHF has come to the conclusion that more homes need to be built!
The fact that there is a shortage of homes is something we all agree on, but the housing market is undergoing some radical changes and those seeking to own their own homes is actually on the decline. Has more pressure is put on the social housing sector we have seen housing stock diminish, with the private sector stepping up to fill the gaps. Although most would prefer to own their homes, the circumstances that make this possible are forcing many to make choices they would not otherwise take.
Which brings me back to the NHFs findings. With the information their research provided the conclusion they should have arrived at is: Who is going to buy all these new homes we wish to build? Young people can’t afford to move out of their parents homes because house prices are high and wages have not risen to keep up with them.
We are constantly told the economy is in a much stronger position than other countries but this ‘feel good factor’ simply isn’t trickling down to the average citizen. The general feeling is one of insecurity especially in the job market. So many are having to choose to take on higher repayments, which means taking chances with rises in interest rates or drops in, or even loss of income. Faced with such a stark choice many simply elect to stay put and continue to live at home.
If wages continue to be suppressed and rents continue rising more and more people will find it impossible to save to buy a home. Even those families who are in work and able to save enough for a deposit are finding they can’t get mortgages because their earnings are not sufficient to secure the mortgage.
It doesn’t matter how many new homes get built, until the problems that prohibit people getting on the housing ladder are addressed, we will continue to see more and more vacant properties.