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The housing crisis: is it all doom and gloom?

Dr Nick Baker Chief Research Officer 29/10/2019

What sort of issues do you think families face in the 21st century?

The geographical implications relating to cost of living in the UK is startling."

The geographical implications relating to the cost of living in the UK is startling.

“A generation has been locked out of the housing market”.

These were the words uttered by former Housing Secretary, Sajid Javid, who admitted the stark reality last year. With housing prices soaring over the last 5-10 years, buying homes has become unaffordable for large swathes of the British population. Renting is the only feasible option.

A BBC report that “up to a third of millennials ‘face renting their entire life’” correlates with the research we have conducted here at Savanta, where we have been tracking and analysing how the public feels about the economic climate since 2009. The results from our most recent wave of tracking highlights the magnitude of the housing crisis, which appears to be one of the most divisive and topical issues families are facing. According to our Consumer Compass data, more than 1 in 5 consumers labelled housing shortages and the lack of affordable homes as the most fundamental issue.

The geographical implications relating to cost of living in the UK is startling. In the year to July 2019, the average London house price was £477,813 according to latest data from the Land Registry. This resonates with Savanta’s Consumer Compass data, in which consumers pinpointed increasing prices as the source of housing issues, particularly in the Greater London, South-East and South-West regions of the UK.

Moreover, DIY brands are also struggling in the midst of the housing crisis, as shown by a stream of reported losses and profit falls.

This has been attributed partly to the recent bad weather, as well as the change in consumer spending – with people tending to be more cautious when they spend their money. Our data would support this, with 40% of consumers saying they are currently less confident about their overall financial situation compared to a couple of months ago. This is combined with the reality that if people are renting flats and homes, they aren’t primarily looking to spend on refurbishment.

Overall, despite the government setting a target of building 300,000 new homes a year – it is clear that millennials and young families will still find it difficult to purchase their first house. I think the message from many, certainly of my generation is clear: support potential homeowners by doing more to alleviate the housing shortfall.

At Savanta we design solutions that enable clients to access the voice of the consumer. Get in touch to find out more about how our reliable and accurate insights can enable confident decision-making.

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