Affordable Housing: More Crucial Than Ever
With inflation at a 30 year high, pushing past 5% in the last 12 months to December 2021, rapidly rising energy costs, including Ofgem announcing that average energy prices will go up by £693 a year in April 2022, and it becoming increasingly difficult for working families to afford basics such as food and heating, affordable housing has never been more relevant or crucial.
The Times reported that Beadnell in Northumberland was “on the coolest places in the UK to move to” but due to a combination of second property ownership, holiday lets and the “staycation boom”, house prices have shot up and demand is hotter than ever. Local residents have launched a petition demanding affordable homes demanding the local County Council take urgent action to increase housing stock. In response, the Council says it has committed just under £50m over the next five year to tackle affordable housing in the area.
In Wales, house prices rose more than any other nation or region of the UK in the past 12 months, increasing on average by 14%.
In a recent report produced by Halifax, there were more than 400,000 people buying their first home in 2021, up some 35% from the previous year. Halifax also reported that the average age of first-time buyers is now 32, up from 29 a decade ago, with the average buyer needed to put down a deposit in excess of £50,000.
With these conditions making it extremely difficult for many, many people, the social housing sector will play a critical (and tremendously positive) role in their long-term futures. With reports suggesting that over one million households are currently on social housing waiting lists in England alone, there is plenty of political and social goodwill to push affordable housing to the forefront of key strategies to help many millions of people across the UK.
In short, affordable housing has never been more crucial. For information or advice on any of the topics raised, please contact our affordable housing team.