The UK housing crisis has entered a critical phase, with the fastest growing towns and cities building as few as one new home for every 23 new residents.
Development in Britain’s ten fastest growing towns and cities cannot keep pace with their expanding populations, according to a new analysis by Minerva Lending PLC, a listed property bond, which provides loans used by developers to convert offices into homes.
Belfast tops the list of the UK’s fastest growing towns and cities but is building the smallest number of new homes relative to population growth – one new home for every 23 new residents – according to the study of Office for National Statistics figures.
In Britain’s second fastest growing city, Coventry, the population expanded by 35,951 in five years but just 5,390 homes were built in that time.
London ranks sixth as the fastest growing city with the capital’s population expanding by 7.5%, or 613,951 people, between 2011 and 2016. But again, property development is lagging sharply behind with just 124,020 new homes built over the entire five year period — one home for every five new inhabitants.
At the other end of the scale, Blackpool is Britain’s fastest shrinking town or city. Its population declined by 2 per cent (2,870) between 2011 and 2016 to 139,578. Meanwhile, 710 new homes were completed.
Ross Andrews, Director, Minerva Lending, said, “This road to ruin of inadequate building is going to end the dream of home ownership for many millions of people over the next 20 years.
“One in 200 people in England is reportedly already homeless. It’s already a national emergency that will only be exacerbated if the government does not deliver a housing strategy that works – soon.
“Property developers often struggle to raise funds from traditional lenders so it’s vital, if conversions are to play a bigger role, that it is made as easy as possible for investors to target the problem with their capital.”