Problems with the UK’s housing market are driving the issue to its highest level of public concern since the mid-1970s, it has been revealed.
How to unlock problems such as high house prices, a lack of supply and too few homes being built are now only trumped by the NHS and Brexit, research by Ipsos MORI shows.
Some 22% of those interviewed by the pollster said housing was one of the most important issues facing Britain today, up from just 3% in 2002 and 5% in 2011.
Housing is never very far behind in the conversation and, nowadays, it seems easier to find a climate change denier than someone who disputes our nation’s housing prospects are worse than awful.”
The last time public concern about housing reached current critical levels was in September 1974 when Ipsos MORI revealed that 23% of those interviewed expressed high levels of concern about the issue.
“Housing is never very far behind in the conversation and, nowadays, it seems easier to find a climate change denier than someone who disputes our nation’s housing prospects are worse than awful,” says Ben Marshall, Research Director at Ipsos MORI (pictured, below).
He also says in an article for the Huffington Post that despite bullish talk from Housing Secretary Sajid Javid and Minister Dominic Raab about starting a ‘revolution’ in housing, long-standing blocks to a solution remain.
Marshall says these include ongoing ‘NYMBYism’ driving resistance to local development, problems with the recently-devolved planning system and the fact that a significant rump of UK housing is now in private hands, making changes difficult.
The pollster says worries about the ‘broken’ housing market are strongest among middle-aged, middle class voters in the South, where 28% of those polled were worried, and Scotland.“While it is hard to make the case that housing is an outright vote-winner, it really does matter in London and the capital will be a key electoral battleground in a few short weeks,” says Ben, referring to England’s looming council and mayoral elections on 3rd May this year.