Is there really a housing shortage in the UK?

It seems like there is a new news story about the housing shortage in the UK every day, but is the situation really as bad as it’s made out to be?

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The short answer is no.

Empty houses across the UK

The issue isn’t that there aren’t enough houses in the UK; instead, the problem is the cost of the homes. In fact, the number of empty homes in the UK is higher than it has been for 20 years.

The statistics back this statement up; Islington Council recently complained that around 42% of their housing units are empty, which they believe is partially due to the “buy-to-leave” phenomenon. This is where wealthy investors buy homes and apartments because they will raise in value, but they leave the homes empty instead of finding renters.

This does make money for the individual, but it means that the UK is filled with tens of thousands of empty homes.

In fact, there are around 610,123 empty homes in the UK and over 200,000 of these homes have been empty for longer than six months.

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Despite this, many housing companies are building more houses – and their estimations are off. In fact, Mulheirn estimated that the UK will need at least 170,000 new homes per year for the next few years, which is much lower than the 300,000 homes that the Chancellor suggested.

A lack of help from the government

Another problem is a lack of help from the government. In the past, the government had a buy-to-let tax scheme that made it easier for people to buy property, but now they have changed the tax regime to actively deter people from buying properties to rent out. Rising house prices have also made it difficult for people to get on the property ladder.

However, it is still possible to buy homes to rent, although it is likely you will need quite a bit of money to do so. If you want to buy a home for yourself or to rent out, contact conveyancing solicitors Guildford such as for advice and tips.

We are not really encountering a housing shortage. If anything, there are too many empty houses in the UK! The issue is instead caused by a buy-to-leave phenomenon and rising house prices.

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