Estate agency Jackson-Stops says it has discovered precisely how many existing home owners understand the difficulties facing first time buyers in their area - and yet who nonetheless say they do not want new homes built nearby.
The agency investigated the views of 1,200 home owners and discovered that 74 per cent accept it is difficult for first time buyers to get on the property ladder in their local area. However, no fewer than 51 per cent do not wish to see any new housing developments built within the next year, and 45 per cent accept that they are NIMBYs - people who say ‘Not In My Back Yard’ to the thought of house building.
Now Jackson-Stops chairman, Nick Leeming says it’s time for home owners to be more accepting of new housing plans where homes are most urgently needed.
“It’s important to further investigate the reasons why many don’t wish to see more local house building. In comparison with other countries, the UK occupies a relatively small footprint and many of our villages, towns and cities are densely populated” says Leeming.
“Over recent years they have expanded to welcome new residents, but we are now seeing local infrastructure and services become stretched to capacity with shrinking school catchments, a lack of on-street parking and congested roads all becoming daily issues affecting locals” he adds.
“The reality is however that we are suffering from an acute housing crisis and at present only six per cent of the UK is built on. With the UK population expected to surpass 70 million in just eight years’ time, we must challenge our views on local house building.”
The research also reveals that while almost all existing home owners acknowledge the nationwide affordability problem facing young people in getting on the ladder, 71 per cent feel that protecting the Green Belt is more important than building more new homes. And 70 per cent claim their local infrastructure is unable to cope with further increases to population and housing.
A significant proportion - 81 per cent - feel that young people today have a tougher time getting on the housing ladder than their parents, with house price inflation cited as the primary reason for this.
As a result, 22 per cent of respondents reported that they received financial help from the Bank of Mum and Dad to raise their deposit, rising to 31 per cent in London.
Leeming says this all mans that local communities should be encouraged to play an active role in enabling development and challenge themselves to become YIMBYs - ‘Yes In My Back Yard’ - “to ensure that homes which conform to local need and architecture can be delivered quickly for future generations.”