Can the UK meet the growing demand for housing?

Housing was one of the key agendas at this year’s general election, with parties making elaborate claims that they would build ‘x’ amount of homes, but is the demand already too high asks Development Specialist Richard Carr?

Property demand at highest point for a year

Richard Carr Construction ImageProperty Wire reported this week that estate agents have seen a large rise in house hunters registering with them in the past few months.

During May, the demand was at its highest level since September 2014, at a time when supply has seen a large fall year on year.

According to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) 383 house hunters registered during May per branch compared to 344 in the previous month. The year on year rise in house buyers is also at its peak since May 2005, when 386 house buyers were registered per month.

Supply being cut

Compared to 2005 when 81 properties were available to buy per branch, home buyers have the option of just 46 currently; although that is up three on April, 2015. The supply of homes has almost halved in ten years as the building of new homes continues to falter.

“There’s been a significant jump in the number of house hunters searching for properties this month, no doubt because the uncertainty of the market following the election has worn off and confidence has returned,” said Mark Hayward, NAEA managing director.

“However, supply does not meet the rise in demand, and as consumer confidence grows we will continue to see a widening of the property gap. The housing shortage will not be solved any time soon, so as pressure mounts we will no doubt see increases in house prices, making it harder for those stepping on or up the ladder,” he added.

EU Legislation

Richard Carr is adamant that half of the issue are down to EU legislation linked to ecology issues; bats and birds are now more important than humans.

After all only 12% of England & Wales is urbanised so why should any ecology tests matter they have more space than us?

His opinion is there needs to be a 36 month moratorium on all controls and taxation (CIL & Section & S106) of planning except for core strategy, this would release a massive amount of ‘brownfield sites’ to the market.

But guess what, that is too simple!