Expert View: Housing market faces ‘huge challenge’ as supply shortage continues

Nick Doyle, Aitchisons

Nick Doyle, Aitchisons - Credit: Archant

Nick Doyle, Operations Director of Aitchisons, St Albans, says the housing market is facing a huge challenge as the shortage of stock continues to hurt both the lettings and sales sectors.

The number of homes put up for sale fell again in January, marking the 11th month in a row that listings have failed to increase. At the same time, new instructions from landlords dropped for the fourth quarter running, with surveyors predicting the issue would get worse as more investors scaled down the size of their portfolio over the coming three years.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) warned that the property shortage was putting upward pressure on both rents and house prices leading to increased affordability issues. The historic shortage has been a long term issue affecting the market and is largely caused by the fact that the UK is failing to build enough new properties to keep pace with rising demand and an increase in population.

The Government published its much anticipated housing white paper, setting out what steps would be taken to fix what it describes as the ‘broken housing market’. At the heart of the housing problem is the fact that England alone needs an estimated 250,000 new homes each year to keep pace with rising demand, but less than 150,000 new properties are being built annually.

The raft of main measures are listed below, but until further details are released on how the proposal will be implemented, question marks remain on their potential effectiveness;

1. Identify areas where housing is needed most

2. Protection of the green belt

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3. Build higher where necessary

4. Speed up house building

5. Encourage more house builders

6. Help first-time buyers onto the ladder

7. Make renting fairer for tenants

8. Encourage build-to-rent homes

9. Leasehold fees and charges

10. Make the best use of existing homes

Nick Doyle can be contacted on 01727 855556