The housing crisis – uncertainty in the era of Brexit

3rd August 2018

This article was originally published on LexisPSL on 1 August here.

Uncertainty is a common issue surrounding Brexit, and this remains a theme in the part it plays in the UK housing crisis. While some see the lack of clarity in the Brexit negotiations to have a detrimental impact on property value (especially in London) and land development, others see Brexit as an opportunity to reclaim more control over sources of property investment and regulation.

Sara Hanrahan, partner specialising in planning law at Blake Morgan, sees the uncertainty surrounding Brexit as having an undoubtedly ‘adverse effect on the UK economy and the housing market’.

Hanrahan points out evidence in the form of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) figures, which show: “House prices are now nationally at their lowest since Brexit was first announced and in London prices are falling. There is also no expectation that there will be any significant improvement over the next 12 months.”

Hanrahan notes that Brexit is not the sole reason for the housing decline, arguing that the UK struggles with a defective planning system. The first main problem is “a chronic shortage of land coming forward for development which could be addressed by significant changes in the approach to building on the greenbelt,” which will require speedy ‘changes to policy and legislation with many more reforms’ to fix.

The other main problem, according to Hanrahan, is: “…the tension between the idea of ‘big society’ and allowing communities a greater say in developments within neighbourhoods and the need to speed up delivery of housing. It is often local politics that mires development at the application stage.”

While the government cannot reverse its localism strategy, Hanrahan looks to future reports and assessments of the logistics involved in the delivery of housing, as well as future reforms of the planning system, including changes to policy and legislation.

Read the full article here.


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