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UK homes have worst value for money in developed world: study

By AFP

March 25, 2024 07:09 PM


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Britain's housing stock offers the poorest value for money among advanced nations, according to a study published Monday warning that the crisis-hit sector will loom large over this year's election.

The Resolution Foundation think-tank, publishing its quarterly outlook for the UK housing market, slammed the quality of UK homes as expensive, small, ageing and energy inefficient.

"When it comes to housing, UK households are getting an inferior product in terms of both quantity and quality," the organisation added in its report, which uses OECD data to compare UK housing stock with that of similar economies.

Homes in Britain have less floorspace per person than many other developed economies, trailing France, Germany, Japan, the United States and Taiwan.

And they even have less floorspace per person than those in New York's central city district, the study noted.

The think-tank found that homes were located further from jobs than the "majority" of other European nations, and were also older and less well insulated despite the UK government's plan to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The UK housing crisis, long regarded as one of the country's most glaring social problems, has been sparked by a historic shortage of affordable housing which has pushed up rents and house prices.

It has been exacerbated by a cost-of-living crisis caused by high inflation and elevated interest rates -- which makes it difficult for Britons to get financing in place to buy a first home.

The UK faces a general election in the second half of 2024, with the main opposition Labour Party tipped by opinion polls to beat Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's governing Conservatives.

"Britain's housing crisis is likely to be a big topic in the election campaign, as parties debate how to address the problems of high costs, poor quality and low security that face so many households," said Adam Corlett, principal economist at the Resolution Foundation.

"By looking at housing costs, floorspace and wider issues of quality, we find that the UK's expensive, cramped and ageing housing stock offers the worst value for money of any advanced economy," he added.


AFP


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