Buy to Let

Voters want affordable housing and a slowdown on rent rises

Voters want affordable housing and a slowdown on rent rises
Christina Hoghton
Written By:
Christina Hoghton

Just a quarter of voters believe political parties pay a lot of attention to housing, according to joint research from Zoopla and Ipsos.

But it’s an important topic for homeowners, aspiring buyers, social and private renters, all of whom were asked about their housing priorities for the next government.

Unsurprisingly, voters put building more housing at the top of their priority list.

Tackling homelessness and reducing the number of empty homes are also the highest priorities.

More homes needed

Homeowners and social renters said the top priority for the incoming government should be building more homes.

Half of voters (50%) disagree with the statement that ‘there isn’t much Governments can do to encourage the building of new homes’. A fifth (21%) strongly disagree, demonstrating a belief that Governments can make a positive difference to rates of home-building.

Voters also care about homelessness and rough sleeping which ranked as the second priority for the next Government, chosen by 41%. This was followed by 39% who selected a reduction in the number of empty homes.

Priorities by tenure

Private renters are unsurprisingly more concerned with controlling the pace of rent rises and rental reforms. They think the Government should give renters in the private rented sector more rights, for example in relation to evictions and rent rises (selected by 21%).

Meanwhile, support for first-time buyers came joint fourth in the list of priorities at 33%.

Richard Donnell, executive director at Zoopla, said: “British voters have high expectations from a new Government on housing. The overarching response is ‘build more homes, but other things matter too’.

“People’s experiences and priorities vary based on their position in the market. Renters want more focus on their priorities including raising housing benefit levels and managing the pace of rental growth, while also improving rights and protections. Rent reforms are on the agenda for all parties but managing rental inflation is best achieved by growing supply through new home building as measures to control rents can reduce new investment.

“It is clear voters are well aware of the pressures on the housing market with reducing homelessness and rough sleeping and doing more to reduce empty and under-utilised homes in the top 3 priorities.”

Ben Marshall, research director at Ipsos, added: “Expanding Britain’s housing supply is among top priorities, as is more efficient use of existing stock and tackling homelessness.

“This is driven by deeply-held worries – most people think finding a home to settle down in has become harder (something the Prime Minister recognised earlier in the election campaign) and that we are not keeping up with meeting the country’s housing needs. But the survey also finds a sense that the governments can affect change and facilitate an increase in the supply of new homes.”