Planning regulations should be relaxed to encourage more housebuilding

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To stabilise housing prices, make home ownership affordable and encourage more housebuilding planning regulations need to be loosened

If the UK is to build more homes that are affordable planning regulations need to be relaxed. This was the findings of a new poll from Reuters.

The country is currently in the middle of housing crisis, with prices so high a whole generation of people are priced out of the market. The government has attempted to mitigate this by encouraging a programme of building, but the problem stull remains.

With the upcoming snap General Election on the horizon housebuilding has remained a topic at the forefront of the agenda, with the Conservatives pledging 1.5 million homes by the end of 2022 and Labour promising to build more.

Planning laws have been significantly relaxed over the last parliament, with rules for building on brownfield land and converting commercial properties into residential amended in the hope of creating more affordable homes. Experts polled by Reuters said loosening planning regulations is the only way to achieve the building revolution that needs to occur and lower prices.

Skyrocketing house prices

The Reuters poll revealed that experts believe nationally prices are expected to rise 2.1 per cent this year and 2.0 per cent in 2018 and 2019.

London, meanwhile, will remain steady this year, but prices are expected to rise 1.9 per cent in 2019 as Brexit negotiations are finalised.

Prices in the capital currently stand significantly higher than the average salary at a whopping average of £649,864. Nationally, this figure is around £317,281, which can still mean it is next to impossible for first time buyers to save the 10 per cent deposit required. As a result, many people have given up on the possibility of ever owning their own home.

Despite these high prices, the majority of experts questioned in the poll said they thought it was unlikely house price correction would occur in the next two years.

SME housebuilders

Hugo Davies at LendInvest said one area that needed to be a focus for the next government is supporting small and medium housebuilders. These have a pivotal role to play in getting the nation building.

“The next UK government should prioritise policy making with small and medium-sized housebuilders in mind, ensuring that they are encouraged, backed and incentivised to enter the housing market and help put more new homes on UK streets at affordable prices,” he said

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