Quite clearly one of the main issues with the housing market is the widespread shortage of properties around the country. This is not helped at all by the additional stodgy ingredients poured into the gooey mix of a huge dollop of empty properties and a very liberal sprinkling of the buy to let market.
At Rolfe East we have observed, over recent years, that the standard of properties where they have only got owner-occupy flats in the block, i.e. the residents are buying them and are actually living there, tend to be better cared for and maintained and there is more of a sense of community. This, really, is quite understandable, it’s very natural to want to put a little bit more TLC into something that is yours, not someone else’s, and if everyone is in the same boat – or flat – then they are more likely to do the same.
One way we could address the property drought (which is additionally shackled by the empty homes and absent overseas investors etc.), and maintain better standards in the market is to think it all through a lot better, and to have a sensible combination of owner-occupier only leases. This would naturally lead to higher standards within the block; with tidy surrounds and appearance, clean pathways, pruned gardens and the like, and more of a sense of pride.
So, for example, if you have 50 new flats going up in a block it is key to look at ensuring there is a fair percentage of:
•Social housing for key workers, who certainly need to be looked after.
•Help to buy for first time buyers, to help people to step on to the ladder
Once developers embrace this blend you will undoubtedly achieve and maintain improved standards in the market and the properties will also be more saleable; remember, the first bite is with the eye!