Land Promoters and Developers Federation

An unprecedented housing emergency is having a major negative impact on the lives and mental health of millions of people as house prices and rents continue to soar, according to a report by the Land Promoters and Developers Federation (LPDF) prepared in association with RPS.

The shocking statistics highlight the impact on the lives of people who cannot afford to get on to the property ladder, those who live in overcrowded, concealed or dangerous homes, and those paying ever-increasing levels of rent.

According to a report by housing charity Shelter earlier this year, there are 17.5 million people impacted by the housing emergency. It says mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, sleeping problems and panic attacks may be caused by these housing pressures.

The LPDF report – The Housing Emergency - highlights statistics that demonstrate how the housing crisis is getting worse despite the government’s desire to see 300,000 new homes built each year.

  • In 2019/20 the average age of a first-time buyer was 34 – in 2007 the average age was 27.
  • This month the average house price in the UK has exceeded £250,000 – saving £311 per month, it would take 10 years to save for a 15% deposit.
  • While saving for that deposit, the average house price will have increased by £69,000, or 38%.
  • In 2020, the average cost of buying a home was 7.84 times the average income – in 1997 it was 3.54 times.
  • 3.66 million people live in concealed or overcrowded houses in England.
  • Since 2010 the number of households renting has gone up 24%. During this time the average rent has gone up by 46%, while average incomes have increased by only 21.6%.

 On these points, RPS planning director Cameron Austin-Fell said:“In drawing together key information on the state of the housing market, we can see quite clearly the scale of challenge ahead, a challenge which affects real families and those held back from the first rung of the housing ladder. RPS recognises the key role the LPDF plays in bringing these issues to the fore. This report will add to a growing library of information published by the LPDF, to continue the debate, and give those with the power for change the information they need to tackle the emergency head on.”  

LPDF chairman Paul Brocklehurst said: “Sometimes in the debate around how many houses we need to build in this country, and where, we lose sight of the impacts of our collective failure over many decades to build enough homes. This report summarises those impacts. They are stark.

“The average age of first time buyers has increased from 27 years to close to 35 years, the proportion of those under 44 owning their own homes has reduced dramatically and, as highlighted by the work of Heriot Watt University, we continue to significantly under deliver on the affordable housing we so desperately need. The consequences manifest themselves in health, social and labour mobility outcomes and therefore on the wider economy. Let us be in no doubt there is a crisis.

“However, with a collective endeavour which the county was able to display in the 1960s there is no reason why over time, by meeting this Government’s aspiration of building 300,000 new homes per annum, that the current position we have reached cannot begin to be reversed. The Government’s Levelling Up initiative could provide further impetus to this collective effort. The LPDF will continue to work positively with Government, Local Authorities and all stakeholders to seek to ensure we do not fail those who so deserve to be able to have a place to call home.”

The report will be used by the LPDF and its members to emphasise the urgent need for more than 300,000 homes to be built each year in their interactions with all key stakeholders involved in the debate around and consideration of the delivery of housing.