Detached property shortage sparks price rise, says Linden Homes

The severe shortage of detached family homes in the UK has resulted in an average 6% price rise, compared to a 2% rise in apartment prices over the last 12 months, reports Linden Homes.

As apartments continue to dominate the new homes market the detached family home becomes even more sought after, as families with children in particular struggle to find suitable accommodation.

The construction of apartments has now overtaken detached houses across the country.

More than 40% of all private new housing registrations with the NHBC are now apartments, with detached houses making up only about a quarter, according to the Home Builders Federation.

Many housebuilders are extremely keen to respond to market demand and build houses, but they are being held back by government demands for high density building on small brownfield plots, where housebuilders will only be granted planning for apartments.

Philip Davies, chief executive of Linden Homes, says: “The sharp rise in the value of detached homes over the last year compared to apartments shows in black and white how the housing mix is being distorted.

In dictating the mix, the government is preventing housebuilders from responding to market demand, resulting in a shortage at one end of the market and an oversupply at the other.

“While it is important to protect the countryside and make the most of the land available for development, balancing the supply of apartments and houses is essential rather than insisting on a ‘one size fits all’ policy that fails to provide enough choice for purchasers.”

As the shortage of family homes grows more severe, the prices in this sector will continue to shoot upwards, making them even more unaffordable for families.

Young couples with children in particular are struggling to find and afford suitable accommodation, as highlighted in the current ‘Campaign for Family Houses’ by new homes website smartnewhomes.com.

Davies adds: “We have been through the apartment cycle in the UK and now it is houses we need.

While apartments are perfect for young professionals and retirees, parents can not be expected to bring up children in apartments which, with balconies, elevators and open plan kitchen/living areas, are simply not designed for family life.”

Linden Homes says in order to deliver a better functioning housing market, the government and local councils must strive to free up land for development, enabling housebuilders to respond to market demand.

It should not be considering measures that will further restrict the supply of housing in the UK, such as the proposed Planning Gain Supplement as this would only serve to put off landowners releasing land in order to avoid the charge, pushing up prices of existing stock even further.

Five years ago Linden Homes built 70% houses and 30% apartments, but this has now been reversed in response to planning policy.