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What Are The Potential Scenarios For Housing In The Uk In 25 Years?

By Author: Bradley Weiss
Total Articles: 159

The situation is dire if population growth and home building continue at pace between now and 2040. A study examines the numbers and makes investment recommendations.

If you are a parent with children under the age of 10 today in the UK, it might be a good idea to stay on good terms with them.

That's because according to research by the firm KPMG, in cooperation with the housing advocacy group Shelter UK, there's a good chance your children may continue living with you well into their 30s. Blame the potential trajectory of housing costs through the foreseeable future - your children might face even greater difficulty establishing their own households than millions of Brits do already today, given the shortfall in house building.

The report makes recommendations to politicians that involve private and public cooperation - enough to cheer those who are interested in real asset portfolio investing as much as young parents. The report, "Building the Homes We Need: A Programme for the 2015 Government," effectively illustrates an undesirable (to say the least) outcome of inaction or ineffectual action. That report strongly recommends that policies and programmes be adopted to speed the building of homes and supporting infrastructure in towns and cities throughout the UK.

Some of the more sobering statistics for the cost of homes in the next quarter century include: the average price of a home in England will rise from the current £225,000 to £900,000; more than half of persons aged 20-34 will still be living with their parents (it's already up to about 48 per cent); employers in London will have more difficulty attracting younger talent because living near central city offices will not be possible (or, much higher wages will be necessary). Compounding the problem with multi-generation cohabitation is the fact that the average new-build home in the UK is 818 square feet in size, trailing considerably behind those in the Netherlands (1,249 squarfeet), Denmark (1,475 square.feet), New Zealand (1,894 square.feet) and Australia (2,217 square.feet).

In a separate report on a similar topic ("What Will the Housing Market Look Like in 2040?"), the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, another housing advocacy charity, notes that private rents will rise twice as fast as income, and that poverty rates among private renters could reach as high as 53 per cent in 25 years. JRF echoes a number of other housing advocacy parties in calling for a doubling of house-building from 2015 forward, achieving 200,000 new homes each year through 2040.

Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb offers some optimism. "This report proves that the next government can turn the tide on the housing shortage within a single parliament." The report's recommendations include:

Allow local councils and their planning authorities to share in the rising value of UK land by creating "New Homes Zones."

Charge council tax on un-built homes if a site owner fails to build within a reasonable time period after receiving planning permission.

Finance affordable house building through a National Housing Investment Bank that provides lower cost, longer-term loans to housing providers.

Provide Government guarantees on financing to small builders, improving their access to finance.

Integrate housing and infrastructure as the centrepiece of City Deals to enhance the ability to build homes needed by towns and cities.

In other words, it's a multi-pronged approach that scarcely no one would wish to fail - not politicians, not homebuilders, not affordable housing advocates, not strategic land developers, and certainly not families with adult children occupying smaller homes. This is a problem that has sweeping economic and cultural implications.

Independent financial advisors are often called upon to work with would-be investors in real estate and other real asset investing. They can examine the broader issues in family wealth building to see where these kinds of investments match up against other investments such as market-traded securities. Helping build a better Britain for the future is certainly a noble gesture, but it needs to fit one's own investment objectives and goals as well.

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