Following on from yesterdays blog. We thought we would look at the change in dwelling numbers in Greater Manchester. Between 2001 and 2014, the dwelling stock increased by 8.6%. Over that period the population increased by 8.6%.
Ah the same rate of increase. It looks then that the issue of a reduction in owner-occupation is not a result of a lack of dwellings as such. People are still living somewhere, its just that the type of tenure has changed largely because people have found it harder to purchase a property. This reflects various changes in society since 2001. The Governments austerity programme has led to declines in household income. Wages in real terms have fallen back. At the same time factors such as buy to let have led to increased competition in the marketplace. A rising population does of course mean that even though more dwellings are provided, demand continues to rise, putting pressure on the housing stock.
Our conclusion – its not a lack of supply which is responsible for the shift in housing tenure, so the assertion ‘we must build more houses’ is clearly incorrect.