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First Rung Of Property Ladder Reported Missing

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Guardian Business

The problems faced by first-time property buyers are compounded by the surprisingly limited supply, according to a report out today. The property experts Hometrack said that one-bedroom dwellings make up only 3% of the housing stock in England and Wales, or 800,000 properties.

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The problems faced by first-time property buyers are compounded by the surprisingly limited supply, according to a report out today. The property experts Hometrack said that one-bedroom dwellings make up only 3% of the housing stock in England and Wales, or 800,000 properties.

I expect this breakdown varies considerably by region.

I might count as a FTB, if I actually wanted to buy a house at today's stupid prices, that is. And there are plenty of one-bedroom flats to be had where I live. But there's a real shortage of 2- and 3-bedroomed houses (and flats). The average FTB is now in their thirties. A lot of FTBs are married (or equivalent) and are looking to start a family. It's not a question of unrealistic expectations; they are just past the stage where a 1-bed flat is any use to them.

All the new housing development around here seem to fall into one of two categories: (a) huge blocks of 1/2-bed flats, and (B) swathes of 5+ -bed executive homes. Nothing suitable for the average family, at all.

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Guest Cletus VanDamme

Seems odd, I thought it was the other way round, too many 1-2 bed flats, not enough houses.

Can never understand anyone paying top whack for a 1bed flat at today's prices. If you're hell bent on being in debt the rest of your life, you might as well pay the extra 40K or so and buy the house.

Anyway, it's all VI nonsense. There is no supply shortage, it's all down to speculation, right? ;)

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'Cletus VanDamme', Jun 11 2007, 12:42 PM' post='663092'

Seems odd, I thought it was the other way round, too many 1-2 bed flats, not enough houses.

Depends where you are. Certainly where I live in N London, houses have been split into flats by investors for many years - we could do with more family houses.

Anyway, it's all VI nonsense. There is no supply shortage, it's all down to speculation, right? ;)

Actually, yes. No need for the winky-smiley, there. A genuine shortage of supply would see rents rising as fast as property. And that is most certainly down to speculation.

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I expect this breakdown varies considerably by region.

I might count as a FTB, if I actually wanted to buy a house at today's stupid prices, that is. And there are plenty of one-bedroom flats to be had where I live. But there's a real shortage of 2- and 3-bedroomed houses (and flats). The average FTB is now in their thirties. A lot of FTBs are married (or equivalent) and are looking to start a family. It's not a question of unrealistic expectations; they are just past the stage where a 1-bed flat is any use to them.

All the new housing development around here seem to fall into one of two categories: (a) huge blocks of 1/2-bed flats, and (B) swathes of 5+ -bed executive homes. Nothing suitable for the average family, at all.

you could buy two adjacent cheap as chips flats and knock a hole between them, like some people in Poland do in commieblocks06.jpg

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you could buy two adjacent cheap as chips flats and knock a hole between them, like some people in Poland do in commieblocks

Funny, they demolished a couple of tower blocks like that just down the road from here a while ago. Yesterday's housing solution became today's housing problem (Gordon Brown and John Prescott, take note).

Whereabouts can I find these cheap flats, exactly, then? :)

On a related note, I've seen lots of people extending their 2/3-bed houses to make 3/4-bed houses, because they can't afford to trade up - this also contributes to the lack of "starter homes" for small families.

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