Report highlights growing problems around UK housing

Housing estateFuture housing development in the UK should be split into two separate entities for trading land and building houses, similar to the banks approach to ring-fencing its retail operations from 'casino-banking', according to the IPPR.

In a report published today on the growing problems surrounding UK housing demand, the policy reform think tank suggests that there is a chronic level of "underdelivery" within the UK housebuilding sector for years, and the current recession has only exacerbated the growing crisis between land ownership and house prices.The IPPR accuses property developers of "playing the land market and the planning system" for decades without focusing on creating new homes.

The report said: "Crucially land should be de-risked by splitting the development process into two separate parts – the trading of land and the building of houses – much as 'casino-banking' activity needs to be firewalled from banks' retail operations."
The IPPR believes only by "changing how land is controlled and released" will the downward trend on new homes being built be addressed.

According to government figures, the number of households in the UK is projected to grow by 232,000 a year until 2033, though only half this amount of new homes are being built annually.
Housing minister Grant Shapps was reported to claim the IPPR had "missed the fundamental point of the Housing Policy" which was to get better value for money in the future. Last week, Shapps announced a new review of barriers to new investment in private rented homes in a bid to boost affordable homes. Small landlords dominate the sector, with 1% of private landlords owning more than 10 properties. The review hopes to find ways to encourage institutional investment in the housebuilding sector.
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