UK Housing Shortage in Real Terms

dawnd By dawnd, 24th Dec 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Money>Property

The UK housing shortage is a real problem for many people. Here's a personal story illustrating just how bad it can be to be caught in the property trap.

UK Property Price Rises

The UK housing shortage and subsequent rising prices have been highlighted throughout 2013 in a number of newspapers, and the effects have been immense for some people. Jo is a single mother of four adult children and has been looking for a two bedroom home in the Warwickshire town of Nuneaton for more than a year now. The family home was sold six years ago, at the time of her divorce, and initially she moved into rented accommodation.

She feels she's missed out on the opportunity to own her own home, saying: "When my husband and I split, I moved into a rented house in the centre of town because at that time I knew I couldn't afford a three or four bedroom house for the whole family. I didn't qualify for a mortgage as I wasn't working and the money I'd got from my share of the sale of the old house wasn't enough to buy us a decent place outright."

Now three of her kids have moved away from home, Jo is in a far better position to buy a small property outright. She's spent nearly two years scanning the local housing market and the purchase of two properties she'd set her heart on have both fallen through. For Jo, the UK housing crisis is a grim reality. She's lost a significant sum of money, had to move home, subsidise shortfalls in rent money out of her savings and has made large payments for two potential purchases that fell through.

She explains: "I found what I thought was a great terraced house around September 2012. It was nicely decorated, had an extended kitchen and and seemed ideal. The owners accepted my offer and the purchase seemed to be going through. When I had the structural survey done though it revealed a number of major problems. The owners were unprepared to drop the price enough to cover the costs of these works, which included a new roof, and I had to pull out of the purchase." Jo lost over £1,000 on this abortive house purchase. She also had to find another rental home and pay removal expenses as she'd given notice on the house she was living in.

A little wiser, Jo made up her mind to focus on newer properties that were unlikely to have structural defects. She started looking at homes again in early 2013 and narrowed her search down to modern, two bedroom apartments in good locations. Property prices rose sharply throughout the year and, when she finally found her ideal home, the sellers pulled out. She thinks they may have received a better price for the flat, after accepting her offer. Although she didn't lose any money on this deal, she said the whole situation has left a "bitter taste in my mouth" and is unsure whether she's prepared to keep on trying to buy a property. She said she's probably viewed over a hundred properties personally and must have looked at thousands of available homes in local estate agents and on the internet over the course of the past year and is feeling totally "disheartened".

"As a cash buyer, I thought I was in a good position to find the home I would stay in for the rest of my life," she commented. "The reality now is that I'll probably have to take on a small mortgage if I do buy a property because I've lost so much money, prices have soared and I won't be able to find the fees for buying my home and arranging my removal."


The Telegraph, "The Conservatives or Labour: Who's to blame for Britain's housing crisis?, Tim Wigmore, 25 September 2013

Rightmove, Nuneaton apartments for sale up to £80,000, Accessed 24 November 2013

Express, "House prices rising £200 a day", Sarah Westcott, 28 October 2013


House Prices, Property, Property Prices, Uk Housing Shortage, Uk Properties

Meet the author

author avatar dawnd
I'm a blogger and writer based in the UK, with an honours degree in History and Journalism

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