Shortage of new homes deepening housing crisis


Tuesday 25th January 2011

We are ‘sleep walking into a major housing crisis', because completions of new homes are running well below what is needed to meet demand, according to the Residential Landlords Association (RLS).

The RLS points out that the supply-demand imbalance has led to severe adverse consequences for the national economy as a whole, as it helped push property prices beyond the means of many would be purchases and led to an eventual crash in the residential property market.

The company report said: ‘It [the shortage of new homes] helped generate the recent housing boom which in turn has crashed to "bust". At a macro economic level this has been a significant contributor to the "credit crunch", the worst recession since the Great Depression and the current economic crisis.'

The RLA firmly believes that one of the key causes of the current problems is the ‘broken' planning system. The organisation, which has some 15,000 members, believes that the required volume of new build homes cannot be met solely from existing brownfield land and that some Greenfield should be considered.

Although the RLA says that it welcomes the principle of incentivising local authorities, it considers that the total abandonment of a new homes target approach is ‘an attempt to go from one extreme to another'.

The report adds: ‘There is the same pressing demand to ensure sufficient supply of housing in much the same way there was after the World War.'