Support, Advice and Experience within the Property Market

Housing Manifesto 2015: The state of the housing market

From Robert Ulph on March 5, 2015

I recently took part in one of the regional meetings to help put together the ARLA & NAEA Housing Manifesto. Meeting with other local professionals, politicians, housing experts and campaigners it was an opportunity to share views about the housing sector. The meetings were replicated nationwide and produced the Housing Manifesto 2015, which ARLA and NAEA have presented to the Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis MP.

My next couple of columns will focus on the report revealing thoughts on the state of the current housing market.

Some facts to start off with according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) data:

  • On average house prices have increased by 6.9% per year since 1980
  • The number of property sales in the UK almost halved from a peak of 1.67 million in 2006 to 0.86 million in 2009
  • Rental prices increased in all the English regions over the year to December 2014, with rental prices increasing the most in London (2.4%), followed by the South East (2.1%)
  • The overall level of house building in the UK has declined since 1980, with 140,880 houses built in financial year 2013/14 – a fall of more than 44% from the 251,820 built in 1979/80

My views and the local view were surprisingly similar in that we all voiced our concerns about government policy on supply, regulation and taxation. In the meetings topics on the over-supply of one or two bedroom flats in one part of the country, and the lack of suitable family homes available in another, were all discussed and both of these points were echoed in our regional meeting.

In the meetings there was also talk about workers on zero hour contracts who struggled to rent properties because they do not have the requisite proof for tenancy agreements. It was all agreed that something needed to done by the next government to improve this crisis.

Providing housing, or more importantly homes, requires finance, suitable land, time and skill. Policymakers seem to have forgotten this. Housing cannot be a political football for future governments to use to score points against each other. Ultimately we need to take the politics out of housing. We know this is easier said than done. So instead the manifesto asks for all future parliamentarians to maintain a long-term progressive view and to deliver on a number of commitments. These commitments include looking at stability of the market, cutting red tape and rethinking planning policy as well as examining regulation of the residential letting market, investment in the housing market and issues around Government proposals for property taxes.

My next column will include these commitments in greater detail, but if you have any questions in the meantime or if you require any further advice or information please do not hesitate to email me.

The Housing Manifesto 2015 can be viewed 2015 Manifesto outlines NAEA and ARLA recommendations.