Developers urged to address affordable homes shortfall

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James Watts, managing director at Robert Watts Estate Agents is calling for developers to consider the opportunities West Yorkshire has to offer when deciding where to invest.

Last year, Yorkshire Housing stated that on average, Yorkshire has six per cent less affordable homes than the rest of the country and to make up this deficit, an estimated 800 homes will need to be built each year. This shortage of affordable housing means that opportunities are abundant for developers to step in and provide the homes the community desperately needs.

Many developers have already taken advantage of the development opportunities with The Times reporting that councils within Yorkshire and the Humber have already begun to deliver on their targets, however, the focus so far has mainly been on North Yorkshire where a reported 1,562 new homes were built. This leaves plenty of opportunities remaining across the rest of the county for new developments, including West Yorkshire.

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West Yorkshire is a diverse community with so much to offer. Beautiful outdoor spaces, an abundance of amenities and affordable living make the area a fantastic place to live and a popular location for buyers interested in relocating.

James WattsJames Watts
James Watts

The current competitive property market means that buyers are looking to new build homes as a more secure option when calculating the type of home they can afford to buy, as there is no potential for a bidding war between other buyers. Alongside this, the cost of living crisis has brought buyers’ attention on the rising cost of energy bills into sharp focus. This is another factor which has been influencing the need for new-build homes as energy efficiency has become a top priority for many buyers and more traditional properties are not achieving the high EPC ratings that new-builds can.

Ensuring that the new properties being built across the country are not exclusively priced for top-of-the-market buyers, the government has created guidelines for affordable housing requirements, alongside the targets set by local authorities. Currently, developments with more than 10 properties must contain at least 10 per cent social housing to meet the requirements.

Overall, within the region, there is plenty of potential for new homes to be created. High demand from buyers and the volume of spare land currently available for sale with planning permission ready to be developed into much-needed houses and apartments means that there is opportunity for a variety of new housing and diverse communities to be built.