Two-thirds of NIMBYs concerned about house prices

Two-thirds of NIMBYs admit to being frustrated that the next generation can’t afford to buy their own home, according to the latest research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Key results from the FMB’s UK-wide research into NIMBYs include:

  • Nearly two-thirds (60%) of home owners who are concerned about new houses or flats being built in their community also admit to feeling frustrated that the next generation can’t afford to buy a property in the local area;
  • One-third of UK home owners are concerned about houses or flats being built in their community having a negative impact on where they live;
  • Half (49%) of people feel frustrated their children, grandchildren or great grandchildren cannot afford to buy a property in the same area as them;
  • Home owners in the London are most likely to take an anti-development approach to new homes being built in their community yet are also more likely to bemoan the inability of the next generation to buy a property nearby;
  • More than one third of home owners in England are NIMBYs, whereas only one fifth of home owners in Northern Ireland take this attitude.

The percentage of home owners that are NIMBYs in each home nation is as follows:

  • England (34%)
  • Scotland (29%)
  • Wales (28%)
  • Northern Ireland (21%)

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said, “We need to accept that if we want to make housing affordable for the next generation, we need to be more positive about new homes being built in our area. The cost of a new home has sky-rocketed in recent years and home ownership is now a pipe dream for most young people, unless they are lucky enough to be backed up by the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’.

“We’re currently building significantly fewer new homes than we need to be in order to meet housing need. Not only are we not building enough homes right now, but we’ve been under-building in this country for decades. One key reason is the disproportionate power of the ‘not-in-my-back-yard’ brigade – the NIMBYs.”

Susan Marshall, aged 53 from Cumbria, is concerned about overdevelopment in her area. She said, “I understand that the future generations will need to have somewhere to live. Yet, I am concerned about whether our existing infrastructure framework will be able to cope if we simply build more and more homes. I am worried about our doctor’s surgeries, our schools and our hospitals.

“We should not build more homes without also building the infrastructure that we need to go with them. I also believe that building on the Greenbelt should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. Brownfield sites across the country are plentiful, and unless all other options are exhausted, we should not be building on our green areas.”

Berry responded, “Over the past decade, emboldened NIMBY groups have used social media and online petitions and they put themselves forward as spokespeople for their communities, regardless of how few people they might represent. It is wholly ironic that many NIMBYs admit to being frustrated about the cost of buying a home for future generations, but are concerned that any new houses will negatively impact on where they live.

“This new research suggests that too many people want contradictory things and we hope it will be helpful in reminding people that they can’t have it both ways. If we cannot significantly increase the delivery of new homes in the UK, then demand will continue to outstrip supply, ensuring that house prices and rents continue to rise.”

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