First-time Buyers

Building societies warn over housing crisis

Adam Williams
Written By:
Adam Williams

The trade body representing building societies across the UK has urged the government to take action to solve the country’s growing housing crisis.

Robin Fieth, chief executive of the Building Societies Association, told its annual conference in Harrogate that the newly elected Conservative government needed to work with other parties to find a solution.

Solving the housing crisis in the UK will require action from multiple organisations and agencies,” he said.

“The single most important thing that our new government can do for housing in the early days of this Parliament is to set in motion a long-term plan based on national and regional demographics, infrastructure, employment and environmental concerns.”

Fieth said in the last year less than half the required homes were built in England, with the housing crisis worsened by decades of inaction.

“Clearly we need to build houses, 200,000 a year in England alone.  Last year the total built by the private sector was less than 94,000.The last time we built more than 200,000 new homes in a year was back in 1968,” he added.

“With our top five builders estimated to be able to satisfy only 30% of this demand, it is essential that multiple other builders, plus housing associations, local authorities and individuals interested in self or custom-build are also able to build.”

“Many building societies already have a good working relationship with local and regional builders and are the main suppliers of mortgage finance for self and custom build across the UK.”