Getting more people on to the housing ladder is now front and centre of the changed domestic political agenda – and radical solutions are required to tackle the supply shortage.
Theresa May last week made her view crystal clear: high housing costs lay behind decreasing social mobility, falling savings and low productivity.
It’s not enough to merely focus on building new houses. We should regenerate urban areas to make them desirable and efficient locations in which to live and work in the 21st century and beyond.
A vital area that needs to be addressed is making the UK residential market attractive to long-term institutional investors, such as pension funds. These giant pots of patient capital could help provide the funding for many of the new housing developments the Prime Minister wants.
Ultimately, we need to revisit the density of housing development. This is not to suggest concreting over the suburbs, rather that top-quality new developments embrace high-density living together with well-managed communal areas.
London’s mansion blocks and European high-density urban living provide for satisfactory precedents. Indeed many people on the Continent typically and readily live, and choose to raise their families, in high-density urban areas. Rightly or wrongly, renting is a new normal.
Photo of London via Adobe Stock Photos.