14 Nov 2008

Solving the Housing Crisis

Remember the 3 million new homes that were needed by 2020? It wasn’t so long ago that this target was being spoken about seriously. Well, today a study by AA Insurance has found that a) 70% of UK homeowners have never had a lodger, but b) that 20% of these are now considering it. At least I think that’s what the figures mean. Let’s assume this is so.

There are around 25 million homes in the UK. So 70% of this is 17 million, give or take. Now if 20% of these 17 million (that’s 3.5million) are now actively thinking of taking a lodger, that will create 3.5million new bedrooms. That’s probably not far short of the number of bedrooms built in creating 3 million homes, as around 90% of these were envisaged as being rabbit-hutch style singleton flats.

So the credit crunch appears to have solved the housing shortage already, without so much as a brick having been laid. And all within 12 months.


  1. homeowners considering it Mark means that its not a given

    your also assuming that everyone who needs somewhere to live is prepared to house share

    your logic is worse than the Governments when they came up with the figures for housing shortage

  2. "Affordable housing"? Looks like houses are getting rapidly more affordable too...

  3. Some nifty number-crunching Mark, but - aren't most of those rabbit-hutch singleton flats being built because people who aren't property owners want to live in them, rather than lodge with someone?

  4. Such studies, trying to reach somewhere to the year 2020 are always a bit ..speculative.
    And what about the thousands of Eastern Europeans leaving the UK (as I have heard)?
    I think 99% of them are lodgers - are there enough local people to take their place?

  5. times reported today that their are 4 million on housing waiting lists and this is set to rise by a further 1 million next year


  6. I've been over this point about numbers on the housing waiting lists before. If you offer an expensive commodity (housing) at a huge discount, then you are bound to create a huge demand. And an insatiable one too. You can never hope to build out the number of homes on the waiting list: in fact the more you build, the longer the list will get.

    So just because there are 4 (or is it 5) million people (actually last time I wrote about this it was just 1.5 million, so I have no idea where these figures come from), it doesn't prove that there is actually a housing shortage. More that people would like to pay less rent and have more security of tenure. I am surprised the waiting list isn't longer still.