UK housing deficit grows to 1.2 million

UK housing deficit grows to 1.2 million

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Video transcript

New data released by Yorkshire Building Society has highlighted the ongoing shortfall in housing provision that continues to impact communities across the UK.

Overall, the building society`s figures showed that, since 2004, the cumulative lack of progress on house building across the UK means that the government has fallen short of its own targets by almost 1.2 million properties in the last 12 years.

This equates to approximately 100,000 homes per year and goes some way towards explaining the ongoing difficulties being felt by many in terms of poor affordability in the property sector and demand outstripping supply.

The data has been compiled by the building society as part of the 70th anniversary of the New Towns Act, which was announced in parliament in 1946.

Introduced as part of efforts to dispel the nation`s housing crisis in the wake of the impact of the Second World War, the act made it possible for a far greater scope of building across the country.

However, seven decades later, the UK continues to face many of the same issues that were seen at the time of its launch, with widespread inflation in prices due to a lack of investment in the necessary number of new homes.

Chief economist at Yorkshire Building Society Andrew McPhillips stated that addressing the shortage of new homes for the UK must now be a priority for the government.

However, house building numbers have remained stagnant since the onset of the financial crisis in 2008 and it appears the message that weak investment in this area is not good for the economy, or the British people, is yet to filter through to Westminster.

`The longer we leave the supply crisis to worsen, the more difficult it will be to resolve,` he argued.

`The UK has failed to build the number of homes needed to meet demand year after year, which has consequently inflated prices and made it even more difficult for those looking to buy.`

He therefore concluded that a devolution of powers to give local councils more freedom to develop under and / or disused land should now be a `key part` of that process.

He went on to add that with the UK now in the process of leaving the European Union, the uncertainty that this has created is not good for the nation`s economic outlook. It may therefore be the case that the housing crisis is now only set to get worse, before it gets better.

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