Three quarters of senior business leaders believe the housing crisis is impacting their company’s performance, shocking research by Strutt & Parker reveals, highlighting how the ‘broken’ housing market is now a national problem.
It also found that just over half said they had lost staff because house prices in the local area were too high or the commute too long, and that three quarters have struggled to attract talent because of the local housing market. Also, the housing crisis is pushing up wages, creating local skills shortages and slowing expansion for some companies.
As a measure of the severity of the problem, 71% of respondents told Strutt & Parker they were considering buying or renting homes for employees to live in as a solution to the crisis.
One company doing that is accountancy firm Deloitte, which has negotiated preferential terms for its graduate intake at build-to-rent giant Get Living’s East Village development near the Olympic Park in London.
Each year 100 recruits move in, benefitting from the ability to reserve an apartment without credit checks or deposit, before receiving two weeks’ rent free.
“When it comes to employing staff, high housing costs are restricting growth and profitability,” says Stephanie McMahon, Head of Research at Strutt & Parker’s parent company BNP Parisbas (left).
“Anybody would recognise that in major cities around the world the inability to provide housing that people can afford is probably one of the biggest risks to global competitiveness.
“You can improve infrastructure and rely on people to commute for longer, but it’s a little like sticking a plaster on the problem.”