Number of homeowners predicted to plummet
The UK housing market could be set for a “crisis”, a leading governing body has warned, unless the government take firm action to address what it calls the “chronic under-supply of homes” in the country.
The National Housing Federation (NHF) made the claims yesterday (29th August) as it revealed that the lack of affordable housing for people to buy in the UK was reaching critical levels; not only affecting the number of new homeowners, but also allowing unscrupulous landlords to charge well above the going rate in rent.
To counter the argument that the government is not doing enough to address the housing shortage, it has said that more public land has already been made available for building companies to build homes on.
The government also claimed that it is investing around £4.5 billion in new low-cost home builds over the next four years.
The NHF, however, has dismissed these claims, stating that the current level of investment and future building plans represent a real terms cut of 63 per cent.
A spokesperson for the NHF stated: “More government investment in affordable housing would stimulate a wider, faster economic recovery and help fix our broken housing markets.”
The NHF research found that the proportion of homeowners in England currently stands at 67 per cent, though there are fears that this could decline dramatically to 63.8 per cent within a decade.
The organisation argues however that with private rents rising, 1.5 million people on the waiting lists for social housing and the lack of affordable, entry-level housing on the property markets – combined with difficult lending conditions – increasing numbers of people are not being allowed to purchase their new home.
“Millions of people across the country remain desperate for an affordable place to live, with more and more forced into expensive and unregulated private accommodation,” warned Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb.
Oxford Economics, which conducted the research on behalf of the NHF, reckons that private rents will increase by 20 per cent over the next five years.
The NHF fears that with falling wages, higher prices on many other domestic bills, higher rents and a lack of affordable housing, an entire generation could never have the opportunity to buy their own home.