Here’s why the UK has painted itself into a corner with the housing crisis

[Composite: Getty Images/PA].

As matters stand, it seems the UK will never build enough houses for those who need them – and young people will never be able to afford them anyway.

The problem lies in the fact that house prices have been allowed to rise. Homeowners now have a huge investment tied to the price of their property – but one that could fall in value if new, and cheap, houses are built.

And developers know they will lose profit if the build too many houses because this would allow prices to drift downwards.

Governments can say what they want but any promise to build a quarter of a million houses a year (the figure we are said to need) is a lie. It simply won’t happen under current conditions.

It would be a brave administration that took the bit between its teeth and said it would create a nationalised builder to put up as many houses as are necessary, because it would turn every homeowner in the country against that political party at the next election.

So what’s the solution?


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10 thoughts on “Here’s why the UK has painted itself into a corner with the housing crisis

  1. jaynel62

    In my area many many people and families could be housed if all the empty properties already built were transferred to social housing. It would not solve homelessness in Leicester but….it would go a hell of a long way to helping such

  2. NMac

    What is needed is more social housing, but as they are unable to make money from social housing we are not going to get that from Tories.

  3. Guanacaste Kid (@GuanacasteKid16)

    Successive governments have failed to deal with this problem. There are so many cheap alternatives in existence – “Tiny Homes”, Container Homes, Prefabricated Steel Houses from Turkey, Wood houses/Cabins etc etc etc. However everyone seems stuck on “traditional construction methods” and Building Contractors.

    If young people want homes let’s see compulsory purchase of “Land Banked” land – and get young people building their own homes with unemployed welders, labourers etc assisting/teaching AND having jobs/decent salaries. Let’s have co-operative building and shared ownership of starter family homes built in radically different ways.

    Relying on the Building Industry and traditional building methods plus the current planning set up will change nothing.

  4. Martin Odoni

    House prices haven’t just been allowed to rise, they’ve been eagerly encouraged to rise, and in fairness, not just by the Tories. Gordon Brown was quite enthusiastic about having consumer-debt drive the economy with housing as the collateral, and for that collateral to be adequate, houses needed to keep getting more expensive.

  5. Ann Ford

    Then we will have to build them as social housing. Build the buildings for the young so they can have somewhere to call their own home.

  6. hugosmum70

    why is there so much talk about build to buy yet so little about building to rent.surely with the economic situation as it is with so many who simply cant afford to buy , or rent/buy 50/50 or cant or arent allowed as in benefit claimants,to rent privately (the latter frequently unreliable, you dare not kick up a fuss if repairs are not done yet the landlord/lady can give you 2 months notice to quit on a whim, then do the whole house up and sell it (repairs they could easily,in that case have afforded to have done anyway……..(as happened with my daughter)……2 months is not long to find another property in this day and age and after living in both LA and private 2 bedroomed HOUSES for the past 27yrs, she is now having to live in a 1 bedroomed LA flat.others may not be so lucky)… renting out surely creates an income.for LA’s.aswell as private landlords.but the rents need to be on a line with wages as well.

  7. katythenightowl

    I have to agree with Jaynel62 on this one.

    There are so many empty properties, which stay that way for years on end – due, mainly, to them being bought more as an investment, than for using as a family home – that, even though it wouldn’t totally cure homelessness at the rate it is already, it would at least ease the pressure on councils, until they can start doing something about the lack of social housing, and first-buyer housing.

    This reliance on bricks and mortar as an investment, is going to have to change, and soon, or there will end up being one crises after another in the UK.

    I only really noticed the emphasis on it when Thatcher came to power, and the problem has been getting worse ever since.

    It will take a brave government to take these steps, but I’m sure there will be many people behind them.

  8. marcusdemowbray

    Ultimately the real problem is that the World’s human population is getting dangerously high and we are likely to outgrow our Planet’s ability to feed, water, clean, house, transport, employ and entertain us all.

  9. Dave Gubbins

    make any difference between the ‘new, lower market value’ and the price the unfortunate buyer payed, tax deductible over X years.
    OR tell the banks to reduce the mortgage amount by that same amount of difference. (they made the ‘money’ they ‘lent’ to the mortgagee from thin air, so, some if it can go back the same way…into thin air).
    it will not apply to many (as a percentage of the electorate) because most mortgagees did not buy at peak prices, obviously.
    Those who have already paid off mortgage are either A) well off enough to pay it early (very small %) or, B) only payed a fair price for the home in the first place >25 years ago (so still have accrued large capital gain).

    Also, many ‘homeowners’ recognise the inability of THEIR children to buy , so, would welcome any move to change that…not least as they do NOT want to be risking their own home (so late in life) as collateral for their kids loan.
    all in all, it’s not a vote loser if explained and handled correctly. the biggest hurdle this writer can see is getting passed the UK’s hysterical right wing tabloids.
    all the best

  10. Dave Gubbins

    having a large amount of support from the under 35’s means that if Labour, when elected, fail to act swiftly and very positively on this issue, it will have potentially disastrous political blow back. i’m sure they know that and are working on solutions as we speak.

Comments are closed.