Housing and healthcare are the two biggest concerns for both tenants and first-time buyers in the run-up to the General Election in May, according to the latest First Time Buyer Opinion Barometer from Your Move and Reeds Rains.
For tenants, housing is just as likely as healthcare to affect how they will choose to vote. One in six tenants (16%) revealed that housing was the issue that would be most likely to affect their vote at the General Election, while a further 16% cited healthcare as their primary concern. The jobs market was the third most-quoted option, selected by 11% of tenants, followed by education (6%) and infrastructure/transport (1%).
Housing also proved a primary concern for a large proportion of first-time buyers (17%), although it was not their biggest concern – 23% of first-time buyers reported that healthcare was the issue that would be most likely to affect their vote.
Despite this, the vast majority of prospective first-time buyers (78%) reported that the upcoming General Election has had no influence on their decision to actually buy a home at this point.
Adrian Gill, director of estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains, comments: “Of all the troubles facing tenants, the struggle to get onto the housing ladder is their biggest concern – and it is most likely to affect how they may choose to vote in May. We are in the grips of a housing crisis, with our population increasing at a faster rate than we are building new homes. And while wages have experienced a marked uplift over the last few months, the affordable housing conundrum is far from solved. Even economic heavyweight Mark Carney has complained that housebuilding is too low.
“In order to put a dent in this housing crisis we need to make some tangible changes in how we control construction. We should ease planning regulations to get rid of the layers of bureaucracy slowing the process, and we need to make it easier to regenerate brownfield sites. On top of that, we should support smaller construction firms hampered by the credit crunch, and encourage skilled construction workers to stay in the field. This is about making it quicker and easier to build, and making sure we have all the resources at the ready.”
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