The Affordable Housing Shortage

It was inevitable. A spiral of closures in the hospitality industry that equates to one closure every hour in the third quarter of 2022. And now at the end of the year, reeling even further from energy price rises, inflation, interest and mortgage rate rises, the situation is deteriorating further. When the cost of living goes up too much, life’s little luxuries such as going out for a drink, or a meal, or ordering a takeaway, are first to be chopped off the expenditure list, especially when the price of that meal or drink now costs so much.

Meanwhile, in the private rental sector, along with interest and mortgage rate rises, the supply of rental accommodation is being impacted by increasing regulatory costs for landlords, and tax changes which make buy-to-let properties a more expensive investment. Compliance with further HMO rules will also cost landlords thousands of pounds. Finally, landlords will soon be unable to claim mortgage interest payments as a tax-deductible cost. What does that all mean? Obviously, an increased lack of supply together with higher rents.

That is depressing and dire news for those seeking affordable housing. House sales are reported to be sluggish with a large increase in property coming onto the market. Why? A lot of homeowners are now desperate to shift their properties because they find themselves struggling with higher or unaffordable mortgages, coupled with energy price rises and the increase in the cost of living generally.

We are now inundated with people wanting to join our list of property guardians – working people desperate to find a home which they can afford, in return for safeguarding the building from vandalism, squatters and all the other problems an empty property attracts. They are struggling with rising rents in the private sector, especially in city centres, and are happy to look after a property if it gives them an affordable roof over their head, no matter if it is an empty fish and chip shop or former pub. As we have seen, these small hospitality businesses are closing down rapidly and the buildings sitting vacant. One hopes, once the economy settles and the cost of living becomes more affordable, they will re-open and flourish again… but in the meantime…

There are a lot of lawless and destructive people out there, they always seem to proliferate in difficult economic times, and property vandalism and theft is also increasing. Don’t let your property suffer and discover it stripped of copper piping and wiring, or roof tiles, or anything else that can be sold as scrap, or even used as a dump for fly-tippers.

Call our office and let us secure your vacant property and give someone a home this winter. It won’t cost you anything (we’ll take charge of making it suitable to be lived in temporarily) but it will make someone very grateful to you and is a truly sustainable solution to a growing problem.

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