However you voted, not many will have been prepared for the political turmoil of the past month. There has been much more talk about the referendum amongst our clients, tenant groups, council officers and registered providers since the result than there was before voting opened, as the practicalities of an EU exit are assessed. Call me old fashioned, but I would have liked a much fuller discussion about this before I put my X in the box.
A Development Survey carried out by Inside Housing published 1 July 2016 revealed that 40% of new starts by the 50 largest builders are for private sale or shared ownership. Inside Housing suggests that if the housing market falls then the scope to cross fund social housing will be reduced – presumably in two years time when these developments are completed just as mainland Europe pulls up the drawbridge.
Where is the response to the housing shortage, in all tenures, that we have NOW? Where is the confidence in our economy promised by the brexiteers. There are still tens of thousands of families living in temporary accommodation; young adults on lower incomes either still living with their parents or trapped in the private rented sector often dependent on benefits – we have no choice but continue to build.
Regeneration has been delivered in a rising property market with apparent ease and the challenge will be to meet house building targets in a less certain market. Although London is cushioned from a potential market crash, it is here where low-cost homes are desperately needed to ensure that people who provide services to the Capital can actually live within commuting distance of their workplace.