Housing Supply in England

Current projections estimate that the number of households in England will increase by an average of 210,000 every year from 2014 to 2039. Can the country meet the demand?

In 2016/17, the total housing stock in England increased by about 217,000 properties, 15 percent higher than the previous year’s increase but not enough to meet the demand—an estimated 240,000-250,000.

A Commons Briefing report looked at the key trends, focusing on the barriers and potential solutions to increasing housing supply in England. The shortage has meant increased levels of overcrowding, acute affordability issues and more young people living with their parents for a long time.

Problem of homelessness

Other issues include increased levels of homelessness. The government has set an aim of one million net additions by 2020, and half a million more properties by the end of 2022. Net additions include conversions and changes of use.

The House of Lords Select committee on Economic Affairs, however, concluded in 2016 that the government’s target wasn’t based on a robust analysis and that the housing crisis needs at least 300,000 new homes annually.

The 2017 UK Housing Review Briefing Paper argued that while supply is crucial, “so is the rather more neglected issue of affordability, in both the private and social housing sectors.”

Property affordability

The government’s Housing White Paper of 2017 set out a package of reforms to increase housing supply and halt the decline in property affordability. It identified the problems of not enough local authorities planning for the homes they need, housebuilding that is too slow and a construction industry too dependent on a small number of players.

Compared to forty years ago, housing supply is very different. Then, it was much higher from the post-war period up until the 1970s—mainly because of slum clearance and local authority building. Now the private sector builds most of the homes, and the conversion of existing properties plays more of a role in increasing supply.

Danny Curran, founder and managing director of Finders International, said: “One of the services we offer local authorities is probate property sales and services. When someone dies without leaving a will and doesn’t have immediate kin, properties can be tied up in probate for ages.

Contribute to the housing supply

“This can result in dereliction which results in an eyesore, but more importantly the house is uninhabited when it could be used to contribute to the housing supply in this country.

“Our service is fast and efficient. We can arrange approved cash buyers for quick sales and we organise property clearance, including biohazards. We change the locks and fit an alarm to secure the property, and we’ll have the asset valued and identify any items of potential value.”

If you’d like to find out more about probate property sales and services, please email us: [email protected]