Friday, 4 January 2013

Bradford doesn't have a 'housing crisis' - not even a little one


Almost exactly a year ago, Cllr Val Slater, scourge of the middle classes (and Buttershaw councillor who lives in Bingley), had this to say about Bradford's "housing crisis":

“We do have something of a housing crisis and when there’s a shortage of any commodity, the prices go up"

This was in response to news that, in 2011 Bradford's house prices has risen by nearly 10% and Cllr Slater leapt on this to try and justify building 45,000 more houses in the District - mostly on green field sites in the Aire Valley.

Yesterday the same news story popped out - except that Bradford's house prices have fallen by nearly 10%. Surprisingly, Cllr Slater wasn't there to with draw her "it's a housing crisis" argument for building more houses.

But then Bradford doesn't have a housing crisis - we have a few problems, the historically large families in the Asian community have led to a shortage of large family homes and a degree of overcrowding and there are places like Holme Wood where the private market is almost entirely private rental sector these days. These are, however, problem that reflect the City's demographics and economy rather than any lack of housing supply. If I were to make a prediction, it would be that, if the City's economy picks up, we'll see abandonment in less popular areas with a large PRS and low demand (e.g. Holme Wood, Buttershaw, Allerton).

What we don't have is a crisis in housing supply. Not even a little.


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