Tony obviously spent much of the weekend counting up the number of housing reviews and commissions taking place at the moment for his post yesterday. One of those he listed has already produced some interesting research for its launch event last week – the Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr) fundamental review of housing policy.
The project, led by Andy Hull, Senior Research Fellow (firstname.lastname@example.org) will have four streams of work. It will look at housing’s role in the economy and how housing could play a less destabilising part in the macro-economy; housing supply and how to meet the projected increase in housing demand between now and 2025; housing allocation and use, and how to achieve a fairer and more efficient use of the housing stock we have; and housing management, looking mainly at the need to professionalise the private rented sector and encourage mixed communities.
The project’s first report on housing demand to 2025 presents a detailed model for estimating the number of households in each region requiring homes, which as they rightly say, should underpin the development of housing and planning policy. The model looks at how housing demand might vary according to changes in the growth path of the economy – the good, the bad and the ugly as they call their various economic growth scenarios.
This is a detailed and slightly techie read, but the headlines are clearly presented. Housing demand will outstrip supply by 750,000 by 2025 ‘equivalent to the combined current housing demand of Birmingham, Liverpool and Newcastle’. Between 3.3 million and 4.5 million additional households will be formed by 2025. Household growth will vary by region, with the fastest growth expected to continue to be in the South East and London, but even in the region with least pressure, the North West, the increase in overall housing demand relative to current demand will be in the range 9–15 per cent: ippr say there will be ‘a substantial imbalance in the supply and demand of housing in all regions’.
The demand for homes in the different tenures is seen to be closely linked to economic performance – the poorer the performance, the greater the demand for social rented homes. The demand for social rented homes (supply of which the government has just reduced to zero in the future) will still be high under all scenarios.
It will be worth keeping an eye out for further publications and events by ippr as the research progresses.