Sarah Davidson

April 6, 2016

Increasing the supply of new-build properties may make owning a home in the UK less affordable, research by Nottingham Trent University claims.

A market behaviour study by Dr Alla Koblyakova, of the university’s real estate economics and investment research group, has found that for every 1% growth in the supply of new homes, mortgage payment to income ratios in the UK worsen by 9%.

She said: “The government thinks that by increasing the supply of new homes, the overall cost of owning a property will come down.

“But this research shows us that the mortgage market behaves differently. When new housing comes on to the market, lenders relax their conditions and lend more money.

“And when consumers are more able to buy a property for a higher price, the price of property doesn’t come down.

“This is a significant finding and is the opposite of what’s generally expected. It’s important, therefore, that future affordability programmes focus not only on the supply of affordable housing, but also on the supply of housing finance.”

The study – based on a sample of more than 1,700 mortgage holders between 2010 and 2014 – was taken from a range of sources including the Understanding Society Survey, Bank of England Data Archive, Land Registry data and European Mortgage Federation publications.

The Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey (2016) shows that homes in the UK demonstrated a “seriously unaffordable” rating category last year.

The house price to income ratio nationally was 4.6 nationally and 8.5 in Greater London. Affordable housing is graded as 3.0 or less.

“The main issue that property values in the UK go up faster than wages,” added Dr Koblyakova.

“It’s not possible for the government to control house prices. But it is possible for politicians to motivate lenders to offer longer mortgage contracts to reduce the size of monthly mortgage payments.

“By increasing the duration of a mortgage to 30 years, for instance, it’s possible to make owning a property more affordable for those on average incomes.”

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