NAEA submits evidence on the economics of the UK housing market

Thursday 17 December 2015

The House of Lords Select Committee's inquiry into the state of the UK housing market has now closed.

The Inquiry into the Economics of the United Kingdom Housing Market was conducted by the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs and was set up to investigate the supply and affordability of housing across the UK market and to review the effectiveness of the Government's policies to provide low cost housing to rent and to buy. 

Buying a house is becoming increasingly unaffordable for first time buyers. The cost of private rented accommodation is rising and there is a lack of affordable social housing. The Inquiry will now consider all of the responses gathered, together with the economic factors that influence the demand for and availability of low cost housing to buy and to rent, and in due course will produce their report.  

We have issued a joint response with ARLA giving evidence to the Inquiry, which is based around three key areas: Private Ownership, Privately Rented Accommodation and Social Housing. 

The focus of our response for matters that affect NAEA members is around private ownership and in particular the first of the questions - What measures can be taken to increase the supply of reasonably priced housing in the UK?

We're demanding that the government adopts a longer term approach to housing policy and consider the full cycle, from making sure we have enough skilled professionals to build additional housing, to giving more financial support for first-time buyers.

We want partnerships between industry and the education sector to continue, which should be well funded, This should help boost apprentice numbers in order to attract more people into the construction industry.

It's also important that homes are built on suitable land that is located along existing transport corridors, with infrastructure improvements to support the building programme.

Whilst we welcome the initiatives already announced this year such as Help to Buy ISAs and Right to Buy for Housing Association Tenants, which will be replaced on a one-for-one bases, people are going to need even more support in accessing finance to purchase property once they are built.

It is also important that these replacement homes are built within the same local authority boundaries where the original home was sold. As a result the Government shouldn’t look at major cities across the UK as whole entities. The Government must ensure that housing stock is retained and grown evenly across city regions.

We've also argued for more unused public sector land to be released for residential developments in towns and cities across the UK.

Our full response goes into much more detail and provides answers to some of the other questions posed in the Call for Evidence.