Government urged to address supply
Latest BBC forecasts give the Tories 329 seats, prompting David Cameron to declare that he hopes to govern everyone in the United Kingdom.
Legal & General Mortgage Club director Jeremy Duncombe, Broker Conveyancing managing director Harpal Singh and Countrywide chief executive Alison Platt all called on the government to address the UK housing crisis.
Duncombe said: “The new government have pledged to build more homes prior to the general election and it is vital that they deliver on this promise. At the moment we are well below this level so it needs to be at the top of the political agenda as we go into the next parliament.”
Singh said: “What we need now is to develop the UK housing market, in particular, increasing housing supply for both ownership and rental which should be the number one priority for this new Conservative government.”
And finally Platt said: “Sticking to its pledge to boost housebuilding through the provision of more affordable housing and more garden cities should prove welcome.
“The new government could take this a step further by reviewing precisely what we call greenbelt today and look to free up more land for sustainable development.”
L&G estimates that the UK requires around 250,000 new homes to be built every year to keep up with demand.
With a lack of supply prices have continued to rise, as today Halifax’s House Price Index revealed that prices increased by 2.2% in the three months to April 2015 compared to the three months before and 1.6% between March and April, despite what was an uncertain period prior to the election.
Annual housing growth also showed little let up after increasing from 8.1% in March to 8.5% in April, although it still stands lower than July’s 2014’s peak of 10.2%.
First-time buyers are pessimistic about their chances of getting on the housing ladder, as 43% are currently saving to buy compared to 57% who aren’t bothering.
Martin Ellis, Halifax’s housing economist, said: “Supply remains very tight with a general shortage of properties available for sale.
“House prices are continuing to increase more quickly than average earnings despite the return to real earnings growth over the past few months.
“The resulting rise in the level of house prices in relation to earnings should constrain house price growth and activity over the remainder of the year.”
Halifax has forecast annual house price growth to end the year at 3-5%.