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Nimby protests quieten in face of low housing supply

Nimby – an acronym of "Not in my backyard" – became synonymous with the homebuilding industry during the construction boom of the nineties, with local development one of society’s most contentious topics.

However, a poll conducted by smartnewhomes.com in September, has uncovered softening attitudes to newbuild in the current climate, as many people start to acknowledge the growing lack of supply across the country.

More than 55% of all respondents to the survey disagreed that there had been "too much" development in their local area in the past (Graph 1), with over 75% citing only a moderate or very little amount over the last two years.

Smartnewhomes.com believes more accommodating attitudes to development have arisen due to current perceptions of availability – a quarter of all respondents questioned were not confident they would be able to find a good home in their preferred location if they were to move.

David Bexon, Managing Director of SmartNewHomes.com, said: "Local development is always likely to be an emotive subject within local communities but the comprehensive lack of homebuilding over the past two years has had a wide-reaching impact.

"Pre-credit crunch, the massive demand for housing necessitated a high level of construction. During this period settled homeowners in certain parts of the country might have witnessed an increase in local development, which may at the time
have seemed excessive to them.

"However, many of these people may have had to look for a new home since this time, and are now facing the significant barriers brought on by the current supply shortfall.

"This in turn has resulted in some having to look outside their preferred location in order to find the best quality homes, which may be a discerning factor in softening attitudes towards local new build development."

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