Monday, April 24, 2006

DIY Empty Homes

Big organisations have a tendency to believe that only they can solve the housing crisis. Government thinks this, Regional government thinks, local authorities think this, big house builders think this, big housing associations think this. Of course they all play a very important role but we forget at our peril that by far the most influential player isn’t any of these, it’s the house-buying public. They buy millions of houses every year, they sell millions of houses every year and they sit on wealth that only be measured in trillions of pounds. Even small changes in their buying trends and attitudes have huge impacts on housing demand. With that in mind this survey reported in the Telegraph last week was highly significant. The survey found that:
41 per cent of the population would consider buying a property that required major work” Challenging the assumption that most people only want a squeaky new house. Of course people have different views of what amounts to major work, but even here the survey suggests that the public is more prepared to take on a wreck than we give them credit for:
75 per cent of those willing to buy a run-down home happy to buy a house with no central heating. Over half would consider doing extensive replastering, and a quarter would take on a home with damp problems.”
Given that most empty homes require a fair amount of work the survey supports what we have been saying for a couple of years. The property buying public has a huge part to play in bringing empty homes back into use. They have the money to buy; they are willing to do the work. They just need some help in finding suitable properties and persuading the owner to sell. If the big organisations really want to make an impact on empty homes they could do worse than help house buyers with these two problems

No comments:

Post a Comment