We have all seen in the news that there is a lack of affordable housing in the UK right now, which is why the government have been called upon to find new ways to increase the amount of new builds. However, it has now been revealed that in 2012 the number of housing starts actually dropped by eleven per cent, and now many organisations are becoming worried that the housing crisis will only get worse in the near future.
Figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) also revealed that since its peak in 2006, the number of new houses being built has fallen dramatically from 183,000 per year to 98,280 in 2012. The housing charity Shelter has shown concern over the lack of new affordable houses being built, with chief executive Campbell Robb saying: “Unless action is taken now, it’s hard to see our housing crisis improving any time soon.”
However, the government have defended themselves, with a spokesman from DCLG saying: “The government is far from complacent, which is why, despite the need to tackle the deficit, we’re investing £19.5bn public and private funding in an affordable housing programme set to deliver 170,000 homes, putting £1.3bn into unlocking stalled sites and building the infrastructure we need and making enough formerly used, surplus public sector land available to deliver 33,000 new homes.”
The Home Builders Federation have also defended the decrease in new builds by claiming that building new homes is difficult due to the challenging economic environment, and stated that: “A lack of mortgage finance is the most important short-term issue and if buyers can’t buy, builders can’t build. But we have seen a much more positive start to the new year with an easing in lending and schemes like the government’s NewBuy enabling people to get a 95% mortgage.”
Even though it may be difficult for buyers to secure a mortgage for a new property, many buy-to-let landlords are finding that banks are making it easier for them to take out loans for new properties. Even though the housing market is still a bit risky, landlords who invest in properties are very likely to find tenants quickly as there is a huge demand for private rented accommodation, and if landlords protect themselves with landlord insurance they could find increasing their portfolio extremely profitable.