Is the government doing enough to combat the housing crisis?

Research reveals what UK homeowners think

Is the government doing enough to combat the housing crisis?

Just one in five UK homeowners believe that the government is doing enough to combat the housing crisis, new research from Market Financial Solutions (MFS) has revealed.

The specialist lender commissioned an independent survey of 1,323 UK homeowners and found that only 21% feel that the government is taking sufficient action to address the country’s housing crisis, with a significant majority, or 69%, stating that the lack of affordable housing is one of the most pressing social issues in the UK.

“The housing crisis is a major issue in the UK, and our research shows that there is a lack of confidence among homeowners and homebuyers that the government is addressing it,” Paresh Raja (pictured), chief executive at Market Financial Solutions, said. “This is likely, in part, a reflection of the turbulence Westminster has experienced in the last year, with changes of leadership bringing about new priorities.”

The Bank of England’s base rate has risen 12 consecutive times since December 2021, jumping from 0.1% to 4.5%. Less than three in 10, or 28%, of homeowners think the government has done enough to support people with mortgages during this period.

In the same time period, there have been six different housing ministers, and the survey revealed a lack of awareness among homeowners as to who the current housing minister is, with just a fifth, or 20%, providing the correct answer when asked to name the current housing minister.

Meanwhile, after the government dropped its mandatory housebuilding targets in December 2022, 58% of homeowners consider the government to be prioritising property taxation and regulation, rather than building new homes.

“With interest rates rising rapidly in the last 18 months, the study clearly highlights that some homeowners feel left behind, so supporting those with mortgages and encouraging more housebuilding ought be at the top of the government’s to-do list,” Raja pointed out.

MFS’s research also found that almost one in three, or 31%, of homeowners believe that high inflation and rising interest rates will result in a property market crash in the next 12 months. However, over half, or 52%, still see property as a safe investment in the current climate.

“It is encouraging that, despite some fears of a crash in the next 12 months, most homeowners continue to see the property market as a safe investment in the current climate,” Raja said. “Indeed, as prices began to rise again last month, it is important for lenders to provide buyers with flexible products to enable the market to continue its resurgence in the months to come.”

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