Sunday, 16 January 2022

Survey finds shortage of affordable housing

Survey finds shortage of affordable housing

ONLY one in five people in the UK believe there are enough affordable homes in their area, according to new research by Lloyds Bank.

This comes as house prices reach record highs and property market activity levels remain robust.

Despite more than half of young non-homeowners (57 per cent) feeling positive about the prospect of owning a home one day, top concerns amongst all UK adults surveyed still include the following:

• Unaffordable house prices (64 per cent)

• Lack of social housing being built (47 per cent)

• Deposit requirements (44 per cent)

• A lack of availability of quality, affordable rental properties (39 per cent).

Other considerations include supply issues such as a lack of homes being built (26 per cent), supply disruptions (14 per cent) and planning rules (eight per cent).

Across the UK, both home-owners (60 per cent) and renters (72 per cent) agree that house prices are the biggest issue facing the market and are sceptical that the industry can adapt and deliver the affordable, quality homes the UK needs as it recovers from the pandemic.

With the average house price now at £272,992, the public believe issues around affordability are likely to get worse, with almost two thirds (63 per cent) believing house prices will continue to increase over the next three years.

Beyond the issue of affordability, many survey respondents suggested that new homes in their local area aren’t meeting the needs of local populations (48 per cent) or being built in places where people want to live (35 per cent).

People living in London (55 per cent) and the South (56 per cent) are the most likely to say homes being built do not meet the needs of local populations, while those in Northern Ireland (47 per cent) and the Midlands (35 per cent) are most likely to say they do.

Esther Dijkstra, managing director intermediaries at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “House prices and transaction volumes, even among first-time buyers, have remained strong during the pandemic.

“However, this research also shows that many people consider the continued strength of prices as the biggest factor preventing people from accessing quality and affordable homes.

“At the same time the pandemic is reshaping what we want from our homes, but large parts of the public feel that currently where and how homes are being built is not meeting the needs of local communities.

“Understanding these trends, particularly at a local level, will be vitally important in ensuring where and how we build homes keeps pace with changing needs of individuals and local communities.

“That’s why, as part of our commitment to help Britain recover, we are working across the industry to collectively work out how we deliver the high-quality, sustainable and affordable homes that the country needs.”

Over the past year, many transactions have been driven by the “race for space” among those planning to work from home in the long term.

However, the attractiveness of an area (47 per cent) and transport links (46 per cent) are considered the most important factors in choosing where to live as compared to having as big a house as possible (18 per cent) or as big a garden as possible (32 per cent).

More than two thirds (67 per cent) of those living in London considered transport links as the most important, while those living in Wales (33 per cent) were the most likely to prioritise a rural lifestyle compared with people living elsewhere in the UK.

Priorities also vary with age. Nearly half (46 per cent) of those aged between 18 and 24 said they prioritise proximity to work, compared to 11 per cent of over-55s, while people aged between 33 and 44 said being near good schools was more important than any other age group.

However, when it comes to our homes themselves, the need for more space looks set to be one of the most important factors driving buying decisions over the next few years.

The garden was deemed the most important feature; with more than half of respondents (57 per cent) stating that outside space was very important.

More living space (36 per cent) and more bedrooms (22 per cent) were also seen as desirable.

Just over a third of people (37 per cent) said they would pay more than they would otherwise for a home with a garden.

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