Wednesday, February 28, 2024
UK

Millions delay life decisions because of housing uncertainty

affordable housing.

The poll comes as figures from the ONS showed private rents in England increased by 6.1% in 2023, making last year the sharpest on record for rent hikes

Millions of people have delayed major life decisions such as starting a family because of uncertainty about housing, according to a poll.

A quarter of people in England, nearly 14.1 million people, said insecure housing had led them to put their lives on hold, with the figure increasing to over two fifths of adults below 35.

The poll, carried out on behalf of housing association Hyde Group, comes as figures from the ONS published on Wednesday showed private rents in England increased by 6.1% in 2023, making last year the sharpest on record for rent hikes.

But it was Wales that saw the largest annual rise in rents, with prices increasing 7.1% over the year to December, down only marginally from the 7.3% increase in rents in the year to November. In Scotland, rents increased 6.2% over 2023.

Andy Hulme, chief executive of the Hyde Group, said: When over four in 10 adults aged below 35 are telling us they are putting off starting a family because they are not sure where they can live, the main political parties have to start listening.

Millions of people across the nation are putting their lives on hold because they are trapped by our national housing crisis which we have failed to tackle for decades, Hulme said.

He added: Not only is setting out a clear plan to build more and invest in affordable and social housing the right thing to do, but this polling shows it is a vote winner too.

The poll found 53% of voters said they were more likely to back a party that promised to invest more money in affordable and social housing, with the figure growing to 61% of adults below 35.

Wednesday’s ONS figures showed rents increasing in the UK as a whole by 6.2%, also the highest rise for a calendar year on record, and at a time when house prices are dropping slightly.

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