Possible Ways to Improve the Housing Market in the UK
By |Published On: 16th March 2018|

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Possible Ways to Improve the Housing Market in the UK

By |Published On: 16th March 2018|

This article is an external press release originally published on the Landlord News website, which has now been migrated to the Just Landlords blog.

To solve issues with the housing market, it seems the UK will need more planning and forward-thinking than just new homes being built. Avoiding property speculation and empty homes, as well as advocating for sustainable developments planned by responsible facilitators, could go a long way to reduce homelessness, and improve the quality of life for many of the UK’s population. Read on for possible ways to improve the housing market in the UK.

Renting property long-term

Many people in the UK have long felt that buying a property is the key to a successful life in old age – often due to factors like perceived insecurity and unreliable landlords. A market for good quality, affordable homes benefits and rewards landlords too, as they’re more likely to find reliable, long-term tenants they can trust to be in their properties. Owning your own home is a big financial – and lifestyle – commitment, and can lead to many extra costs and commitments that might not suit everybody.

Relaxed planning permissions

Much of the poorest demographic in our society rents property from private landlords, and making the most of the space we already have is key to improving the housing available to the UK. Obtaining permission to build an extra storey, convert part of the garden or build an extra room could not only improve conditions for tenants (such as those with extra needs, like wheelchair or pushchair ramps), but it could mean the landlord could charge more monthly rent on the property, such as by having an extra tenant in the property.

New apartment buildings under construction, UK

New-builds aren’t the only solution

Where there is adequate infrastructure in place to support new homes – such as road systems able to support the extra traffic to the area, important facilities such as hospitals and schools, parks and leisure facilities, new-build homes can be a good idea. However, when cities start to sprawl and the landscape begins to suffer, it becomes clear that building new homes on rural land is not the most responsible option if we’d like future generations to be able to enjoy the environment too.

According to The Guardian, homes that were bought as new actually only account for a mere 10th of all housing transactions, so really accounts for just 10% of all homes purchased in the UK.

Empty homes and property speculation

As mentioned above, one of the first things that comes to mind when thinking about the addition of new housing developments is their impact on the countryside. At first it may seem this is an unavoidable fact – people need homes, and sacrificing the environment to provide comfortable places for our population to live seems a worthwhile cause.

According to research from the Liberal Democrats in January 2018, more than 216,000 homes across 276 local councils have been empty for 6 months or more, and an astonishing 11,000 have been empty for 10 years or more. Rectifying this could go a long way to providing more homes – such as demolishing houses if need be, and building on brownfield sites, as well as providing incentives for property owners to become landlords.

In the future, with the view in mind to preserve the environment and build new homes sustainably, there are many other ways we could make the housing market in the UK more functional for both landlords and tenants alike.

About the Author: Em Morley (she/they)

Em is the Content Marketing Manager for Just Landlords, with over five years of experience writing for insurance and property websites. Together with the knowledge and expertise of the Just Landlords underwriting team, Em aims to provide those in the property industry with helpful resources. When she’s not at her computer researching and writing property and insurance guides, you’ll find her exploring the British countryside, searching for geocaches.

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