THE ‘GENERATION GAME’
Original article written by Leon Fear for Business Leader as featured on their website on 26th March 2018. To view the original, please click here.
All throughout history, each generation has tried to improve their living standards and create comfortable homes in which to live, with millions aspiring to home ownership.
After the Second World War, prefabricated houses, or Prefabs, became a major part of Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s government plan to address a huge shortage of housing across the UK caused by the impact of extensive bombing, and the resulting lack of materials with which to build new houses.
Although originally intended to have a ten year life span, thousands of prefab dwellers loved their homes so much that many remain today, with Bristol having one of the largest remaining stocks in the country. Sixteen prefabs have been granted Grade Two listed building status in a nod to their importance of creating urgent and sustainable housing during a national crisis and in my opinion similar methods can provide a solution to the existing housing issue today.
Home ownership has been high on the agenda for millions of Britons for generations, but as pressure builds on house prices across the UK, and with the South West having seen one of the most significant periods of growth in recent times outside of London, the dream of owning your own pad is becoming increasingly difficult for thousands of people in our region and beyond.
Generally speaking, people want the price of any item to be as low as possible, but when it comes to housing we want the price to keep going up, providing of course we already own it!
This is good news for existing owners but not so good for those trying to get on the ladder, so what is the answer for a growing population of renters?
Not everyone wants to own a property of course, and many people like the flexibility and reduced responsibility that comes with renting.
Creating communities, not intransigent housing, is key for sustainability of jobs, reduction in localised crime and for the general happiness of the population, so creating better quality longer term homes to rent, such as some PRS (private rental sector) homes offer, along the lines of quality student accomodation which often provides the facilities many people want without the responsibility of ownership, is certainly a huge growth area.
As Generation-Rent is set to grow exponentially over the next twenty years, there is a responsibly in the property industry to create the flexibility and type of housing people want and deserve in order to create lasting communities.