Housing Crises - What Crises?
Blog gwreiddiol | Originally posted: June 6, 2014
A great deal has been said recently about the need for new housing in the UK but it seems to me that one way of reducing the problem would be for the number of holiday homes to be reduced. There has always been a market for 2nd homes in the UK - properties which lie dormant and empty for most of the year and which are only used for a perhaps a month to 6 weeks each summer - but this market has increased considerably in the last 20 years as more and more middle income families join the property boom.
It is surely not sustainable for some families to have 2 homes, 1 of which lies empty for most of the year when other families have no home to call their own and cannot afford to step up to property ownership. There is a pressing need for Government to step in and increase the tax liability on 2nd homes in order to discourage their purchase by potential investors rather than home owners and also to curb property prices.
This may be an idealistic approach and also one which would undoubtedly prove to be unpopular with many middle income families, as well as architects (like myself) and developers who would see a reduction in their income stream - there is a considerable amount of work which is derived from improving or extending such properties! However, if we are to act as well as talk sustainably there doesn't seem to be any other way to approach this however unpopular it may be.
I would be interested to hear if anyone agrees? There will no doubt be more who disagree!