The UK housing market has been significantly under-supplied, yet it’s frustrating to learn that we are continuously discussing the same solutions that need to be implemented in order to solve the property ‘crisis’. Government officials and real estate experts talk of simpler planning legislation, the need to encourage more SME home builders and the importance of ensuring the ability to secure finance. The current situation has got worse with growing demand, yet Brexit hasn’t caused the mass hysteria that many predicted and first time buyers are even dominating the market. Therefore, it’s critical that we make sure that quality and affordable supply reaches the British population.
With the recent Brexit vote and the country’s change of leadership, there is now a real opportunity to deregulate, reduce taxation and show the world that we can really get things done.
Permitted development has enabled a large level of new supply to be delivered at a high rate and has removed the majority of the planning risk from the development appraisal equation, making a noticeable difference to viability and providing the freedom to innovate. At Inspired, we believe that PDR should be expanded before the supply of old offices runs out meaning a relaxation in minimum space standards opening the door for developers like Inspired to innovate.
It seems like the Government is listening. Gavin Barwell, the Tory housing minister, has recently stated at a conference in Birmingham that housing developers should build homes with smaller rooms that do not meet existing minimum space standards so that young people can afford to buy them. We couldn’t agree more!
Barwell said, “Now look: most people, given the choice, would like to live in a nice big home. But I think for many young people – if I was 22 today, I would rather have the chance to own that than be priced out”.
We need to step away from the idea of building council housing and encourage younger generations to own a home for themselves. A relaxation on space standards would open up the market for first-time buyers to get on the housing ladder. We have seen the benefits of this first hand with many happy buyers in our developments.
Student accommodation has paved the way for a viable model of PRS for graduates. The smaller private units and larger shared spaces achieve very high customer satisfaction ratings, higher yields PSF and satisfy much more affordable budgets than larger outright residential unit sizes. Enabling the same model for post graduates could be one of the most promising options we have in order to accommodate the growing population in London.
We need to encourage first-time buyers and institutional PRS, while also encouraging the traditional buy to let landlords who stimulate the UK’s property market.
Let’s fix this problem, and get Britain building again!
To get involved in our conversation or to find out more about our London apartments, please contact the team on 0208 688 6552.