The continued rise of house prices and lack of supply in the mainstream market is affecting us.
Some of the major issues people are facing in their communities are a lack of housing choices and too few homes being built. Families and individuals have to change their plans to afford what they need today, they may not be able to afford those changes in the long term. Older people struggle to stay in the locality they call home and renters simply don’t have the quality housing they should have.
Here are some examples:
For some older people, downsizing is impossible.
After working nearly all their lives, striving to be happy in a family home, they cherish an area they love. This lack of housing choice is a problem for everyone because those family homes become lost in the system. For some older people, downsizing in the area they live and love is not possible.
Bank of mum and dad
In the past, parents would save money for retirement. However, this pattern has been changing with ever-increasing house prices. Parents now use their savings to help fund their children’s current home purchases, a reversal of the traditional home-buying sequence. As a result, many people have less money set aside as they approach retirement age than previous generations did at this stage.
In addition, some parents are using other assets besides cash savings to assist with the cost of funding their child’s housing. For example, they may commit equity from another property or withdraw from pension funds to help support their child’s deposit.
The rental market is slow-to-build social housing, and there is a shortage of suitable rental properties.
The rental market is slow-to-build social housing and lacks suitable rental properties. For those who want to rent but can’t afford to buy, there aren’t enough good quality affordable homes available in cities, towns or villages. Private landlords are a business, so in the main, they provide a solution, but one that also makes them money. And this shortage and lack of quality force many people into substandard living situations: poor quality conditions such as mouldy walls, dampness, cold temperatures and inadequate insulation.
A lack of housing choices could negatively impact every aspect of life, from your kids’ finances to your ability to retire.
The lack of housing choices through a lack of building and house prices, could negatively impact every part of your life, from your kids’ finances to your ability to retire. Here are a few examples:
- Children may have to move out of the area. If you can’t find affordable homes in the same school district as your children, you may have no choice but to move away from their friends and extended family members who are essential to them.
- Parents may have to work longer or even return when they thought they were ready for retirement.
- Parents may also be forced into cohabitation with their adult children because there aren’t enough low-cost rentals available near where their kids live (and vice versa).
The lack of housing choice in the mainstream market is something that we all need to be aware of because it impacts us daily. If you’re not already feeling the pressure, it’s likely only a matter of time before your finances also start to suffer from this issue.
Building cookie-cutter homes that fit a shareholders-for-profit approach is not assisting anyone in the housing sector apart from the house builders.
As more people struggle with rising prices, their children will be left footing an even bigger bill.
The big unspoken truth in all of this is the lack of choice. Starting with nowhere to downsize, the shortage of quality/secure rental properties and land costs push house prices. So many people make do, and it shouldn’t be this way.
House builders don’t consult communities or future residents on what they need; they build what they can make money from or sell to private landlords.
This ongoing cycle hurts every rung of the ladder. We know what needs to change, and you can be part of the solution by telling us what you need.
What can you do to improve your life and your community?
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You’ll be scored on the following; A home that meets your needs, a community and neighbourhood that works with your day-to-day life and is friendly to the earth.
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Co Founder of A Fairer Society. Peter has a vision of living in a fairer society, where there's plenty to go around, where everyone has a voice in the issues that affect them, and where humans thrive togther.