The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) has announced today that it believes that first time buyers and young families will soon be priced out of the rural market. The organization believes that in order to sustain demand that just over seven and half thousand affordable houses will need to be built in rural villages, numbering less than three thousand in population.
However, despite these estimates only 2, 886 houses were completed to these specifications in 2013. The Institute also believes that councils are selling off too many council homes in these areas and are therefore pricing young people out of the market.
This lack of housing has coincided with the surge in interest from buyers in the wake of the government's right-to-buy initiative, which has offered a discount to property buyers.
In addition to the building of new houses the CIH has recommended measures that can be implemented in the short term. These included putting in place barriers to prevent wealthier home homers buying up property to have as second homes, or 'buy-to-let' enterprises. This, the CIH hopes, will allow schemes to "help … people to become homeowners, not allowing them to become private landlords or to pass the property on to relatives".
A member of the CIH stated that he believed that a great number of rural communities are in jeopardy of becoming less diverse and becoming home to only the wealthy and the old. Young people and those on lesser incomes may soon be disappearing from the countryside.
However, a lack of housing is not the only problem. Recently, abuse of the right-to-buy system has been revealed, showing that fraud cases in this area have risen by five times as many from the year 2009 to 2014. So far it amounts to over 12 million pounds a year.
You can read in more detail about the Institute's proposed solutions to these problems in their recent budget submission, which also addresses funds for at risk tenants and a reduction in stamp duty for those in receipt of pension credit.