The research revealed the biggest shortfall of housing would be in London, the South East of England, the East, and Yorkshire and Humberside. However, while the pressing need for us to build more homes in the UK is now widely recognised, the current strained economic climate makes this a daunting challenge for Britain.
Statistics (Hometrack survey 2011) show that the supply of housing has fallen by 5.4 per cent in 2011, the worst drop in four years, yet regardless of the fact housing supply is at a record low, demand still continues to rise. Despite being one of the richest countries in the world, Britain is failing to provide enough homes for its residents.
Concerns over the current economic outlook and the harsh reality of the spending cuts are doing small amounts to improve or support an already volatile market. The supply of homes is now expected to fall even further over the next quarter as sellers are either forced to reduce prices or even withdraw their homes from the market completely (IPPR 2011).
Many sellers are holding off even putting their properties up for sale because of the low offers they expect to get in the current climate.
It is clear that if the rate of house building and housing supply doesn’t dramatically increase, the UK will face a growing housing crisis over the next few years. Whether or not the economy starts to pick up, it is undeniable that at present there is serious gap between housing supply and demand in the UK.
On top of this, as the cost of living increases and interest rates threaten to jump in-line with inflation, many Brits are starting to feel the pinch. Inevitably some families will start to find it impossible to keep their homes as their mortgage repayments sky-rocket, leaving some facing repossession. Confronted with all of these factors, many are left looking for alternative and more affordable housing solutions and schemes such as those offered by housing associations.
Separate from councils, housing associations and groups are able to offer housing to local people who are often on a low income or people who need extra support. Committed to tackling the current shortage in supply of affordable housing, housing groups and associations are continuing to build desirable homes despite the current economic climate, ensuring they work in a responsible and environmentally sustainable way to provide a positive impact on local communities.
Acting as a solution for many who are unable to find suitable housing, first time buyers, social tenants, those in need of suitable housing who are left on waiting lists and key workers can all benefit from the specialist and innovative housing support schemes offered by many housing associations and groups.
As they improve accessibility to decent, cheaper properties for many people in need, housing associations and housing groups can help the UK to ’plug the gap’ between supply and demand, increasing housing supply by the correct amounts in order to provide sustainable and affordable homes for the whole population.
THIS IS A GUEST POST BY AFFINITY SUTTON
To find out more about affordable housing, visit the Affinity Sutton Housing Association.