Could more building be the key to solving the housing crisis

 
Could more building be the key to solving the housing crisis

The UK government has been trying to do its bit to solve the housing crisis in the last couple of years, between its attempts to increase the number of people able to buy properties through the Help to Buy scheme, and its increase in building, with new starts having hit their highest levels since the recession.

Since the scheme launched last year, the government has reported that building has increased by some 34 per cent, while the number of housing starts is now an impressive 113 per cent higher than it was in 2009. 

However, prices have continued to rise and demand has as of yet failed to die down, and this has led to developers seeking out ways to increase the number of new properties they are providing. 

So what is the best way to sort out the housing crisis? According to developers in the capital, what needs to be done is for more land to be released to builders to construct brand new homes. They say it would allow them to help meet demand and fend off the potential threat of a housing bubble.

The House Builders Federation said land being released is the absolute key to tackling the housing crisis, and it said with local elections coming up soon, those who are elected will need to act quickly to deliver new plans that can help tackle the potential problems.

In addition to land being released to developers, they also want to see changes made to planning rules so that the future developments are not hindered and can get off the ground quicker, making the whole process more fluid and easy.

"London is now facing an acute and worsening housing crisis. If we are to provide the homes we need for London to prosper, politicians must urgently prioritise housing provision. Local, regional and national politicians have to start working together to develop policies that allow house building sites to come forward. Politicians need to identify and bring forward land quickly if builders are to build the homes London needs," said Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation.

An improvement to house building would have more benefits than just improving the prospects of the property sector as well, though, as it could allow London to prosper economically.

The plan from the mayor of London Boris Johnson is to increase the number of new homes by some 42,000 each year to help tackle the crisis, and the House Builders Federation said that this would have the knock-on effect of helping improve employment prospects.

If this target was met, it would mean some 40,000 jobs being created in London through the housing sector alone, while there would also be the potential for 25,000 jobs created across the south of the country through the supply chain. 

So with the benefits to the housing sector and the economy as a whole seemingly being in place, it appears that builders are right, and the country really could benefit from a raft of new homes being built across the next few years.