In our position as a property developer, we have a unique insight into the current housing crisis. As a regular feature on the news and in newspapers, the shortage of homes continues to cause concern and real-life problems. Here at Pelham Structures Ltd, we operate as a planning consultant, land promoter and house builder in Royston, so we deal with the consequences of this problem at every level of the process, from an empty plot of land to the final construction of timber frame homes.
Below, we’ve looked at some of the reasons behind the current housing crisis.
In 2017, the Budget outlined what every property developer, land promoter, planning consultant and house builder knew all too well: as a society, we have a genuine shortage of homes. In light of this, the government set the target of building 300,000 new homes per year until 2020.
DECLINE IN HOUSEBUILDING
Despite our own continued success as a manufacturer of new homes with timber frame systems in the Royston area, the ‘crash’ of 2009 had a significant impact on house builders. Even now, the industry is still on the road to recovery rather than recovered. A number of businesses couldn’t fulfil the developments they had started, or had planned, while many others ceased trading completely.
House builders that survived continued to build, working in conjunction with property developers, planning consultants and land promoters as usual, but to a much slower degree. As such, the population grew at a faster rate, and demand started to outstrip supply.
As a society that generally enjoys greater health and lives longer, the availability of housing alterations and home care have markedly improved. This means that people live in their own houses long into old age. Naturally, as a result, fewer homes return to the open market.
Of course, the reason here remains a positive one. Good health and long life shouldn’t be viewed as part of a problem. However, it’s impossible to ignore the impact currently being felt by the younger generations. In fact, the last UK census was the first in a century to show that the average size of a household hadn’t fallen in size.
These two factors aren’t the only ones facing every planning consultant, land promoter and house builder in Royston and throughout the country. The housing crisis has multiple layers that don’t have an easy-fix solution.
Much like the timber frame new builds constructed by Pelham Structures, house builders continue to create homes. To supplement this, the government backed help-to-buy and shared ownership schemes. In addition, in 2017, the Budget injected some much-needed investment into the industry to stimulate growth. This will play a vital role in encouraging smaller property developers and house builders to contribute to the new homes target.
This investment consisted of a £15 billion housebuilding support package, with £1.5 billion going directly to the Home Building Fund. Furthermore, the government also revealed that it will invest a further £44 billion over the coming five years to support the industry even more. £2.7 billion of this was earmarked for the Housing Infrastructure Fund with £400 million going to estate regeneration.
Despite this welcome investment, it remains imperative that every type of house builder, property developer, land promoter and planning consultant, no matter their size, all play a role in overcoming the crisis.
To view examples of our ongoing work in Royston and the surrounding areas, please visit the current projects page.