Wednesday, August 31, 2011

British housing market in crisis

Source: Press TV

The National Housing Federation (NHF) has warned that the housing market will be “plunged into crisis"' without government action to deal with the "chronic under-supply of homes.”

The NHS said that home ownership in England will fall to 63.8% over the next decade, which would be the lowest point since mid 80s. The federation stressed that high deposits, together with house prices and firm lending criteria, have hit home ownership.

"With home ownership in decline, rents rising rapidly and social housing waiting lists at a record high, it's time to face up to the fact that we have a totally dysfunctional housing market,” Federation chief executive David Orr said.

Orr insisted that more government investment could encourage a wider, faster economic recovery and help fix the country's broken housing markets.

"Home ownership is increasingly becoming the preserve of the wealthy and, in parts of the country like London, the very wealthy. And for the millions locked out of the property market the options are becoming increasingly limited as demand sends rents rising sharply and social homes waiting lists remain at record levels," he added.

Housing Minister Grant Shapps confirmed that the coalition government has not been building enough homes but claimed that it was "in the process of reversing that through massive planning reform" and a "massive program" concerning the release of thousands of acres of public land to “get Britain building again.”

"And despite the need to tackle the deficit we inherited, this government is putting £4.5 billion towards an affordable homes program which is set to exceed our original expectations and deliver up to 170,000 new homes over the next four years," Shapps added.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of housing charity Shelter, said that with rents increasing, more and more people across England will remain desperate for a reasonably priced place to live.

"With major developers holding planning permission for at least 188,000 new homes, the government must urgently look at ways to get construction going. This will not only create jobs and drive growth but will deliver the homes people desperately need," Robb added.

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