What is the relation to babies being born and the Walsall property shortage I hear you ask! Well…I'm not blaming our bouncing bambinos let me asure you!
….as more babies are being born to Walsall mothers, this increase will continue to add pressure to the already strained Walsall property market – and greatly affect the local property market in the future.
The past eight years of ever incremental increasing birth rates, a significant 3.96 babies were born for every new home that was built in the Walsall area in 2016.
My belief is that it has and will continue to aggravate the Walsall housing shortage. This means demand for housing (be it to buy or rent) has remained high. The high birth rate has meant Walsall rents and property prices have remained resilient and they will continue to remain high in the years to come – even with the challenges the economy has felt over the last eight years.
Increasing Birthing Rates
This ratio of births to new homes has reached one its highest levels since 1945.
Back in the early 1970s, the average was only one and a half births for every household built.
- The latest figures show the Walsall area had an average of 61.2 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44.
- Interestingly, the national average is 61.7 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44.
The number of births from Walsall women between the ages of 20 to 29 is close to the national average, but those between 35 and 44 were slightly lower. Overall, the birth rate is still increasing. When the following recipe is combined – a) the ever-increasing life expectancy in the Walsall area, b) the high levels of net migration over the last 14 years and c) the high proportion of single person households in Walsall…
This can only mean one thing: a massive increase in the need for more housing in Walsall.
Demand VS Supply
More and more tenants are having children because they feel safe in rented accommodation. Renting is becoming a tenure of choice for Walsall people.
The planners and politicians of our local authority, central Government and people as a whole need to recognise that with individuals living longer, people having more children… demand for property is simply outstripping supply. Whilst divorce rates have dropped recently, they are still at a relatively high level (meaning one household becomes two households).
The simple fact is: more Walsall properties need to be built.
Green Belt Land
Only 1.1% of the Country is built on by houses. Now I am not suggesting we build tower blocks in the middle of leafy Stonnall, but I feel that the fixation of not building on any green belt land should be carefully re-considered.
Yes, we need to build on brown field sites first, but there aren’t hundreds of acres of brown field sites in Walsall or the surrounding area. What’s more, what brown field sites there are, building on them can only work hand-in-hand with public investment. Many such sites are contaminated and aren’t financially viable to develop, so unless the Government put their hand in their pocket, they will never be built on.
I am not saying we should crudely go ‘hell for leather’ building on our Green Belt, but we need a new approach to enable some parts of the countryside to be regarded more positively by local authorities, politicians and communities and allow well thought-out and empathetic development.
Society in the UK needs to look at the green belts outside their leisure and visual appeal, and assess how they can help to shape the way we live in the most fair-minded way.
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