A new survey for Channel 4 has found that three-quarters of the public (76%) agree with the suggestion that there is a housing crisis in Britain. Just over a third, 35%, strongly agree. Undertaken by Ipsos MORI a few days before the Government published its National Housing Strategy and to coincide with Channel 4’s The Great British Property Scandal season which starts tonight, the survey also found pessimism about the future affordability of housing. Nearly two-thirds, 63%, disagree that housing will become more affordable over the next two years. Other findings:
- The public are strongly satisfied with their homes; 57% are very satisfied.
- This extends across all sections of society and regions.
- Owner-occupiers are relatively more satisfied (94%) but renters are overwhelmingly positive too (82%).
- 90% agree their home is “suitable for current needs”.
- Again, positivity extends across adults, tenures and geographies.
- At same time, 34% of all GB adults choose something from a list of possible inadequacies. Size/space is most commonly identified (12%).
- A minority, 19%, say they are concerned about their ability to pay the rent/their mortgage repayments at the moment, although concern is higher among private renters (32%) than mortgage-holders (19%).
- By 2:1 mortgage-holders think that having a mortgage is “more risky than it used to be” (46%:23%).
- A fifth of all adults, 21%, say that a monthly increase of as little as £49 or less would be difficult to afford.
- A rise of this magnitude is more likely to impact on private rented sector tenants (29%) than mortgage-holders (10%) and a quarter (25%) of households with a net income £17,499 or lower say they would have difficulty affording housing.
- Among those saying £49 or less would make it difficult to afford housing, most say they would be likely to compromise on holidays and leisure/going out, but 24% say food/groceries.
- Private and social renters are pessimistic about their chances of ever being able to afford to buy a home. By a margin of more than two to one (59% to 23%), more agree than disagree that “I don’t believe I will ever be able to afford to buy a new home”.
- A third of the public (33%) prioritise making it easier for first-time buyers to own or part-own their homes as a Government priority, choosing this from a list seven key housing issues. The same proportion picks out reducing the number of empty homes. Topping the list is building more affordable homes (44%).
Ipsos MORI surveyed 1,006 British adults aged 16+. Interviews were undertaken face to face with a representative sample using 155 sampling points across Britain. Data are weighted to the national population profile by age, sex, working status, region, ethnicity, and tenure. The survey was conducted 11-17 November, a few days before the government published its Housing Strategy.