Friday, 26 September 2014

Renting vs Buying in the South-West: part two

At the beginning of the year, there was much talk about whether it was better to buy or rent:
Futures Forum: Renting vs Buying in the South-West

It has been getting more difficult to buy into the market - despite or because of the government's own policies:
Futures Forum: Help to Buy: housebuilders and homeowners benefit...

Very little housing in the South West is affordable - again, whatever Westminster tries to do:
Futures Forum: Central government, nudging the housing market and greenfield sites

On the ground, health workers in the South West feel their "pay isn’t keeping up with the cost of living increases."
Exeter hospital workers and paramedics set to walk out on strike | Exeter Express and Echo

On the other hand, why do the British in general seem determined to buy - rather than rent?
Conservatives and the cult of home-ownership - FT.com
Renters are the losers in the property game: Time to rid the stigma: Academic
Why the Germans and French prefer to rent - House & Home - Property - The Independent
Brits buy homes, the Germans rent – which of us has got it right? | Money | The Guardian
Futures Forum: Renting vs Buying in the South-West

This is the opinion of Kevin McCloud:

Rent, don't buy, urges TV host: Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud says renting is the way forward

> Urges more Britons to consider renting rather than buying
> 'Property in UK will always be of a premium because there’s not enough of it'


17 September 2014

He has made a career out of helping people spend huge sums of money on building their dream houses. But Kevin McCloud has now said renting is the way forward and urged more Britons to consider being tenants rather than home-owners.

He said: ‘The prices have peaks and then drop, but essentially property in the UK will always be of a premium because there’s not enough of it. So that doesn’t work for a country that is one of the most populated in Europe. There is a tradition of social housing in other countries but we don’t have it

‘We are going to have to reconsider how we choose to live in terms of renting. There seems to be an allergy to that here and yet renting is a perfectly good idea. I rented for years and I loved it — no responsibilities, no clearing of gutters. It left me free to actually enjoy my life.’

However, the presenter, who has fronted the Channel 4 programme since its launch in 1999, also said the Government’s plan to build 250,000 new homes a year will fail, claiming the properties will be too poor quality to attract buyers.

He told The Times: ‘It’s not to do with the amount, it’s to do with the quality. We have to build houses that people want to live in within communities that work for them and we have to ask the existing community what they think will work because they have more local knowledge than just about anyone else. Until in this country we get the spaces between the buildings right, then every single housing scheme will fail. The home is the heart of people’s lives. It is the launch pad of our lives and the sense of ownership goes beyond that. It stretches out into the park, the allotment, the car club.’

McCloud is no stranger to such construction projects himself. He has his own business, Happiness Architecture Beauty, which builds sustainable properties and last year completed a 42 home project in Swindon – including 50 percent social housing.

Click on below for video:

'Charming and compact' - but would you pay £1,000 a month to live in one of these tiny 'semi studios'?
House price boom accelerates as homes jump 11.7% in a year leaving first-time buyers needing £209k to get on the ladder
One in five house sales in London's most exclusive areas is now to wealthy foreign buyers, fuelling 'dire housing crisis
The West Country is having it particularly hard:

Rise in private sector rents in South West prompts affordability worry

By Western Morning News | Posted: September 19, 2014

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The South West has seen a significant increase in private sector rental prices as rents in the UK hit an all-time average high, a new letting report has revealed, prompting concerns about affordability. The survey, carried out by LSL Property Services, found that the cost of privately renting a property in Britain has risen by 2.4 percent over the last year, bringing the average monthly rent to £761.

Tenants in the Westcountry have seen the biggest year-on-year increase – higher even than the South East –with rates in the region increasing by 3.5 percent to an average of £651 a month. The South West also saw the biggest month-on-month increase between July and August (1.7 percent) as the peak season for new tenancies got under way.

The consequences of these price rises were revealed by the same study, which found that around 8 percent of rents were paid late or were not paid at all in August. LSL said this was the highest level of financial difficulty reported by tenants since last Christmas.

The survey has led the homelessness charity, Shelter, to call on the government to provide more affordable housing. “Successive governments’ failure to build enough affordable homes and soaring house prices are leaving more and more families with no choice but to live their lives in expensive and unstable rented home,” said Shelter chief executive, Campbell Robb. Sky-high rents mean hopes of escaping the ‘rent trap’ are fading fast for many. We hear from people every day who can barely keep up with their housing costs each month, making saving for a home of their own a mere pipe dream. Our politicians have got to get serious about building the affordable homes we urgently need and give ‘generation rent’ the chance of a stable home.”

The findings come after the Office for National Statistics released figures showing that first-time buyers face having to pay 13.5 percent more for a starter home than they did a year ago, with the typical cost standing at £209,000.

Alison Seabeck MP for Plymouth Moor View, said such high property prices were preventing young people from getting a foot on the housing ladder and putting pressure on the private rental sector. “The rise in people who cannot afford to buy a home, and also people who are unable to go into affordable rental properties because of low availability, mean the sector is being squeezed from both ends, driving prices up,” she said.

She stressed that the construction of more affordable housing was the most viable solution to the problem, saying that regulation of the market would only make the situation worse. “If you try and regulate private rents by introducing caps, people just pull out of the market, which reduces the availability of properties,” she said. “The rise in rents, wherever it is occurring the country, all feeds back in to the fact that we’re not building enough homes. The government needs to listen to charities like Shelter and other parties who have been telling them this.”

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