Housing Market – Getting On That Ladder
As everyone is fully aware, the housing market has seen turbulent past times and high soaring price increases. No one truly knows where it is going to end. The North South divide is widening with prices rocketing faster in the South than that of the North. London prices are now at a level that house buyers are looking further afield and willing to commute more. As demand in the capital outer fringes increases, so will the prices. Will this have a ripple effect with potential buyers looking even further away from the city lights? Not only for a better home but also for an affordable way of life. By this I mean it will not only be their home they are looking at changing but also their vocation. This can only benefit the housing market in other regions as demand grows.
The downside will be the first time buyers as the housing market becomes more unaffordable. I know there is the help to buy scheme but even that will not help the majority as the deposit required increases. It is going to be even harder to save for with the forever increasing cost of living in general, paying the rent whilst trying to get on that heightened first rung of the ladder.
That first step on the ladder will become more elusive as time goes by. I would not like to be a first time buyer in today’s housing market, let alone what is to come. So what can be done to help the first time buyer experience the rollercoaster of becoming a home owner?
Around the country, councils have been highlighting areas of infill land and suchlike that can be used for development of new housing. Some of that to be developed is to be affordable housing. My issue is this. Why build when councils have empty derelict houses in their areas. Yes, these houses need work and are more often than not in areas that are in need of regeneration. My proposal is this. Why not offer these houses for a nominal sum, say £5000 each to first time buyers who can prove that they have saved X amount that has to be used to renovate the property within a certain period of time. The property would belong to the first time buyer which they would have to live in for a minimum time period before they could sell and climb onto the next rung of the housing market ladder. When doing so, they would give the council a small percentage of the sale allowing the owners to keep a large amount towards their next property.
Not only would this help keep the heritage of the buildings in the area but also promote a natural regeneration with the councils not only making an initial income together with the increase in council tax received but the councils will also have an invested interest in the properties and the areas that they are located. The first time buyer would finally be on the housing market without the added stresses of large debt hanging over them whilst they strive to make a life that they can be proud of. The knock on effect of home owners renovating property is that they have invested into that property and area which brings with it a natural sense of pride in where they live. Surely this would be a win win for all.
Potential owners would have to show in detail what their renovation plan would be. Contactors would have to bid for work creating a work pool. Councils would have to inspect improvements on a regular basis to ensure that work is carried out at an acceptable pace.
Yes I know that there is not enough of this type of properties around but it would be a great first choice option before we have to concrete more of our forever diminishing green areas of land.