As we are all aware, property prices in the England have risen significantly over the last couple of years, above and beyond the average European or international property market. Indeed many people believe that London property prices in particular may soften in the short-term but there is little chance of a significant fall back. So, is now the time to review green belt property restrictions and look to even out the spread of property throughout the UK?
Green belts and the environment are very hot topics at the moment and indeed the suggestion that property restriction should be lifted and house building allowed will no doubt attract a wide range of different opinions. So, why should we even consider reducing green belt property restrictions?
One of the main elements pushing the UK property market further and further forward is a lack of readily available housing. The fact that some of the more populated areas of the UK are now so expensive has led us to a two tier market which effectively takes in the South of England and the North. The opportunity to increase supply, by reducing green belt building restrictions, would not only help to take some of the pressure out of the English property market but would also lead to a greater spread of homes across the country.
Quote from PropertyForum.com : “What is a Real estate investment trust?”
Whether we like it or not, the fact that there are large green belts across the UK preventing the outskirts of towns, cities and villages from “joining together” has led to an array of micro-economies. The fact that houses across the UK are not evenly spread means that businesses need to focus their attention on high-density population areas thereby leaving many of the smaller towns and villages to fend for each other. The ability to basically expand the larger population areas of the UK will allow new business sectors to develop and thereby not only more evenly spread homes across the UK but create potential employment opportunities as well.
Restricting the influence of the South of England
While there is no doubt that London, as one of the main financial centres of the world, is one of the most popular investment arenas of today, many believe that the South of England as a whole has far too much influence on the rest of England. Thereby, potentially lifting greenbelt building restrictions should allow larger and more influential cities, towns and villages to emerge outside of the South of England and thereby in time begin to at least reduce the influence and the power the South has over the rest of England.
While there are obviously very good reasons for maintaining greenbelt property restrictions maybe it is time to loosen these restrictions just a little to even out the UK property market, increase supply and also help to create stronger business communities?
That is not to say that greenbelt restriction should be lifted en masse but perhaps it is time to look at the finer detail and to ensure that there is perhaps a more even balance between housebuilding opportunities and environmentally friendly greenbelt safety measures. It may not be the answer to the UK housing problem but it could well prompt investors who tend to focus on London and the South of England to think again and maybe spread their wings?