Members of Parliament from across the political spectrum have banded together to tackle the housing crisis as a new report shows first-time buyers are bearing the brunt of rapidly increasing house prices.
The new all-party parliamentary group (APPG) for housing and planning, which includes Tory and Labour MPs, as well as cross-bench peers, will be tasked with proposing new solutions to increase the housing supply for rental and private ownership.
James Cartlidge, the Conservative MP for South Suffolk who will chair the APPG, said housing is “increasingly becoming one of the most critical policy challenges facing local and national government” and is “likely to become more political and controversial”.
The announcement of the new APPG came on the same day as a new report from the estate agent Haart showing that the average price of a home for a first-time buyer leaped, on average, by £4,150 in June alone.
According to Haart, the average first-time buyer shelled out £166,393 for their first home last month, 7.6 per cent more than during the same month last year.
The figures also showed that the percentage of new mortgages taken up by those climbing the first rung on the property ladder dipped to 42.7 per cent, 1.7 per cent lower than June 2014, while the average deposit rose to £32,518, up 3.2 per cent from the same time last year, and the average mortgage rose 8.7 per cent to £133,875.
The average age of a borrower rose by 0.2 years, to 31.5, according Haart.
Commenting on the findings, Haart’s chief executive Paul Smith warned that the government must find a way to increase housing supply.
Sean Tompkins, chief executive of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) – which is set to support the housing APPG as a secretariat – agreed that a lack of supply is at the root of the housing crisis, saying that the UK currently needs to build “in the region of 245,000 homes every year” to keep up with demand.