Just take a minute to absorb the following headlines from the past week or two:
- Affordability of city homes hits ten-year low
- UK housing starts hit ten-year high
- Half of new-build London luxury flats fail to sell
- Number of social homes to fall by 230,000 by 2020
- The number of people sleeping on the streets has doubled since 2010.
Saying that the UK has a housing crisis is no longer an attention-grabbing headline, it is undoubtedly the truth. However, the methods being employed by Government are quite rightly being questioned as they are failing to address the main cause of the problem, especially in the housing crisis capital – London.
Property developers in the capital have 420 high-rise towers in the pipeline despite up to 15,000 high-end flats currently sitting on the market waiting for buyers. If Government thinks that they are helping some cash-strapped first-time-buyers (that are most likely having to take-on close to half a million pounds in debt) by lending them a deposit for a few years, then they are mistaken.
The problem in London is that for the past 10 years, property developers have been building the wrong type of apartments, focusing on luxury in travel zones 1 & 2 for rich overseas investors, and not basic, affordable housing (closer to £250,000 than £500,000) in zones 3-6, for London workers.