Investments in new property around the UK is the best way to alleviate the housing shortage.
“ The housing market is one of the greatest barriers to progress in Britain today. “ – The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
For very many years, the pace of building new homes in the UK has been sluggish and this has made rent and house prices to rise.Everyone in the country today agrees with the Prime Minister’s assertion that housing has increasingly become unaffordable especially for the ordinary citizens who want to buy or rent houses for their families. Most of these folks who account for more than than 2.2 million spend more than a third of their income on housing leaving them with less money to spend on other basic needs.In many cases the effect has been many citizens struggling with mortgage.Many homes around the UK are bought with loans so changes in interest rates can affect the ability of families to afford new homes.
In February this year the UK government published a White Paper on Housing detailing the status of the housing market and its promise on how to deliver radical reforms that would increase supply.The British government did recognise that the market was broken as a result of people not building enough homes over the last couple of decades.
The housing problem has been cause by the construction industry that is too reliant on the big players who are small in number.Britain’s 10 largest house building firms build on a yearly basis approximately 60 percent of new homes.Housing associations have also not been left behind, they have contributed almost a third of properties built over the last five years.
It has also been caused by some of the local authorities inadequate planning for the houses they need. Over 40 percent of local planning authorities don’t have plans that meet their projected household growth.At the end of January 2017, 34 planning authorities had not published a local plan for consultation despite having over twelve years to do so.The country needs at least 225,000 to 275,000 new houses in a year to keep the paace with the ever increasing population
What the government plans to do
First, the government wants to increase the transparency around land ownership by working closely with the local authorities to make sure that they have up-to-date plans.This will bring clear guidelines on how to identify land for housing and also help identify those who are buying land and not developing on them for speculative purposes
Secondly, the government is investing in more open and accessible planning.This will reduce unnecessary delays.Currently, there are delays between plan development and granting of permission to build a new home.Last year as at July , there were over 684,000 homes with detailed plans which had not been finished with only 349,000 homes only been started.
And lastly the government will diversify the housing market by opening it up to those smaller builders who can build using innovative and efficient methods.