The Home Builders Federation (HBF) is calling for government to do more to understand the challenges young households have in getting on the housing ladder, engage productively with industry, and take a constructive tone when discussing new build homes.
According to a new survey carried out by the trade body, more than 70% of the public believe government is responsible for fixing the country’s shortage of homes yet fewer than one in five think politicians truly understand the challenges facing young people trying to get on the property ladder.
The research shows 68% of people believe that building more homes is vital to resolving the country’s housing crisis and a staggering 72% place responsibility for solving the country’s shortage of homes firmly at the door of politicians.
The ‘Housing the Nation’ report explores public perceptions of the country’s chronic shortage of homes. The research reveals:
· 78% of respondents agree there is a housing crisis in the UK
· To tackle the crisis, 68% of respondents agree building more homes is vital
· 80% of respondents are supportive or not averse to new homes being built in their local area
· 71% of respondents feel the housing crisis is making the country less equal and more divided
· 72% of respondents believe responsibility for solving the housing crisis sits most heavily with Government
· Only 55% think that solving the housing crisis is actually a priority for politicians
· 72% of respondents were worried about the prospects of future generations in relation to the housing market
· Just 18% of people think politicians truly understand the challenges young people face in getting on the housing ladder
· More than 40% of respondents agree with the statement ‘Housing will be an important factor in determining who I vote for at the next General Election’
It comes as home ownership among younger generations is lower than for their predecessors and housing supply numbers are plummeting. HBF warns that without government intervention the current anti-business, anti-growth policy environment, coupled with challenging economic landscape could see housing supply halve to new record lows exacerbating the nation’s housing crisis.
Recent data shows the number of new homes gaining planning permission is continuing to nosedive. The federation is predicting if the numbers continue on this downward trajectory and government implements its anti-development planning reforms, housing supply could fall to the lowest level since World War Two.
Meanwhile as interest rates remain high, the closure of the government’s Help to Buy scheme in England last March marked the first time in decades no first-time buyer support scheme has been in place, at a time when it is arguably needed most.
Government proposals to weaken the planning system, the ongoing failure to address the nutrient neutrality issue and a lack of support for first-time buyers are hindering home builders’ ability to deliver the homes the country desperately needs – and blocking aspiring homeowners from getting on the property ladder.
The survey found 68% believe building new homes is key to resolving the issue, opposing the NIMBY lobby that has seen development blocked and delayed across more than 60 local authorities.
The strongest support for building more homes was concentrated among the older age groups, with 74% of 55 to 64s and 71% of 65-plus year olds agreeing that more new homes was vital to tackling the housing crisis.
The Housing the Nation report shows support for building homes is higher than those opposing development in every region. Even in the South East, where home building is portrayed as attracting the strongest opposition from local residents, 70% of respondents were either supportive or not averse to more homes being built in their local area.
Almost three quarters of respondents (72%) said responsibility for the housing crisis sits most heavily with the Government, followed by Local Councils (16%).
Despite this, only 55% of respondents agreed that solving the housing crisis was actually a priority for politicians and only 18% thought that politicians understand the challenges young people face in getting on the property ladder.
Stewart Baseley, executive chairman at HBF, said:
“Despite the chronic need for more homes, housing supply is falling as a direct result of the policy approach taken by our political leaders. The evidence is now clear; the government can no longer ignore the housing crisis facing people across the country.
“People generally are accepting of the need to build more homes and elected representatives need to ensure they are representing all the people in their communities, not just a vocal NIMBY minority. Politicians need to step up and provide the leadership that will allow us to deliver the homes we desperately need.”
Source: Property Eye