L&G: UK must build its way out of affordable housing crisis

Jake Carter

October 20, 2021

self build

Legal & General (L&G) has called on the UK to build its way out of the affordable housing crisis after the market has continue to fail to meet local needs.

L&G’s Rebuilding Britain Index (RBI) was established to measure the UK’s progress in levelling up on a quarterly basis, surveying 20,000 people and tracking social and economic progress across 52 measures, including health and social care, education, housing, jobs and economic prosperity, environment, energy, transport and digital.

Each of the 52 measures is indexed to provide a score out of 100.

The latest RBI has underlined the scale of the housing challenges facing the UK, showing a second consecutive decline, down from 60/100 in Q1 2021 to 58/100 in Q3 2021.

London (50/100), the South East (51/100) and the South West (51/100) of England have experienced particularly low housing index scores.

L&G said the decline has been driven by both a decline in the hard metric of house prices as a proportion of average income (55/100 – down two points from Q1 2021) as well as declining consumer sentiment.

Specifically, the perceived availability of affordable starter homes (57/100), social housing (57/100) and rental properties (58/100) have all fallen by two points over this same period.

There are pockets of the UK, typically within London, the South East and South West that are facing particularly acute housing issues.

Cornwall (39/100), North Devon (41/100), East Devon (42/100) and Chichester (42/100) were the hardest hit local authorities

Nigel Wilson, chief executive at Legal & General: “Our research shows a mismatch between local housing supply and demand, but also shows that we cannot look at issues in isolation.

“By levelling-up UK jobs and economic opportunity we can go some way towards alleviating housing pressures. However, this is only likely to go so far.

“The UK needs a new partnership approach, involving local authorities, developers, investors and central government to boost overall supply and also ensure we are building enough of the right types of home, in the right places.

“Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set out ambitious plans to boost the UK’s regional economies.

“While this is obviously positive, realising this ambition will involve coordinated action at national and local level, with local partners in the driving seat.

“If levelling-up is to work, it must also be bottom-up and not top-down.”

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