UK Housing Crisis

UK Housing CrisisIs There Really A Housing Crisis In The UK?

There is a housing shortage in the UK, a shortage of affordable housing and houses suitable for first time buyers.

The government has set targets of new build homes each year to be built, at around 300,000 new homes.  Added to that, the schools, hospitals, shops and parking means that we are becoming a very well populated nation with a shrinking coastline.

The government is also encouraging people to build their own houses by offering cash incentives.


Every year tens of thousands of people enter the UK to try to live and work, many with their families.

Since the 1960’s immigration numbers have been going up year on year, particularly with illegal immigrants.  The UK government for years has been putting illegals up in many of our hotels to the cost of the tax payer.

Some of these are being moved into houses, to free up space in the hotels for future immigrants.


Since the 1980’s we have seen a rise in divorce numbers as a family of 4 or 5 in once house becomes two families occupying two houses.

Roughly 43% of marriages end in divorce, and there is roughly 28,000 divorces each year.  So that means that there are roughly 20,000 houses needed each year just to support two sides of the family.

Year on year house builders need to build 20,000 new houses every year, as most will not want to go into the rental market as middle aged people.

Why Is There A Housing Shortage

New towns have been created since WW2, to handle the housing shortage (yes, that is how long this has been going on for).  Towns like Basingstoke were rapidly expanded to bring people outside of London and create affordable housing.  New towns like Milton Keynes and St Albans are also well known as pop up towns.

But with all these new houses that have been created post war, how is there still a shortage?

The baby boom post war does have a lot to play, coupled with most modern families now have 3-4 children means that the problem is only going to get worse.

Immigration does have a part to play, since 1960 towns such as Leicester, Birmingham and Bradford are all well known for their ethnic populations.  London has the highest number of world nationalities of any city globally.

Tackling the housing crisis is important, which spills over to the rental market and homelessness.

Rising House Prices

The value of a house has been growing quickly since the 1970’s.  A house that cost £50,000 in 1970 would cost around £500,000 today.

There have been a couple of housing bubble bursts during the years, but on the whole, house prices have been going up, not in line with wages.

It is predicted there will be a tipping point whereby house prices will eventually fall.

UK Rental Market

Due to the high housing costs, the UK rental market is highly competitive, with many 3 bedroom houses using living rooms and other rooms as additional bedrooms.

London is the highest market for the rental sector, a one bedroom flat can cost over £2,000 a month.

Many people have invested in property as a second income and the buy to let industry has exploded over the last 10 years.  Many people have lobbied their MP’s to call a stop to the buy to let industry as it is preventing people buying houses if they are bing owned and rented out.

Competition Between Estate Agents

As you can imagine, the competition between estate agents is very high.  Even during the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic, people were still buying and selling property.

Marketing for estate agents has not stopped, many have increased their marketing spend in order to stand out over the competition.

With the addition of companies like Purple Bricks (a purely online service) and Right Move, the sector is highly competitive.

The Future Of Housing In The UK

The sad truth is that we will have to sacrifice more fields and more woodland in order to house our ever growing population.

Of course no-one wants their once country views to be replaced by a housing estate and lorry park, however not in my back yard was always the way.

House prices look to be still increasing, how far is anyones guess.

The Housing Sector In 2024

The UK has had a housing crisis for decades, for a variety of reasons as covered above:

  • Immigration
  • Illegal Immigration
  • Divorce and Family Breakdown
  • Natural Population Growth
  • Saturation Of Rental Property Market

We have all seen the many new housing estates cropping up all around the UK.  Many of the new housing estates are being built on greenbelt as year on year buildable land has been used up.

Many offices have been converted into flats as businesses change how they work.  Since COVID, working from home has become the new normal, so many businesses have released offices that have not staff in them.

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