Tuesday, 6 June 2017

3.35 Babies Born For Each New Home Built in the Grantham area

As more babies are being born to Grantham and South Kesteven mothers, I believe this increase will continue to add pressure to over stretched Grantham property market and materially affect the local property market in the years to come.

On the back of eight years of ever incremental increasing birth rates, a significant 3.35 babies were born for every new home that was built in the South Kesteven Council area in 2016. I believe this has and will continue to exacerbate the Grantham housing shortage, meaning demand for housing, be it to buy or rent, has remained high. The high birth rate has meant Grantham rents and Grantham property prices have remained resilient – even with the challenges the economy has felt over the last eight years, and they will continue to remain high in the years to come.

This ratio of births to new homes has reach one its highest levels since 1945  (back in the 1960’s the average was one birth for every household built). Looking at the local birth rates, the latest figures show we in the South Kesteven Council area had an average of 63.1 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 and for the region its 61.3 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44

The number of births from the Grantham and South Kesteven women between the ages of 20 to 29 are much higher than the national average, but those between 35 and 44 were significantly lower. However overall, the birth rate is still increasing, and when that fact is combined with the ever increasing life expectancy in the Grantham area, the high levels of net migration into area over the last 14 years (which I talked about in the previous articles) and the higher predominance of single person households … this can only mean one thing .. a huge increase in the need for housing in Grantham.

Again, in a previous article a while back, I said more and more tenants are having children as tenants because they feel safe in rented accommodation. Renting is becoming a choice for Grantham people.

The planners and Politian’s of our local authority, central Government and people as a whole need to recognise that with individuals living longer, people having more children and whilst divorce rates have dropped recently, they are still at a relatively high level (meaning one household becomes two households) .. demand for property is simply outstripping supply.

The simple fact is more Grantham properties need to built
… be that for buying or renting.

Only 1.1% of the Country is built on by houses. Now I am not suggesting we build tower blocks in the middle of the Cotswolds, but the obsession of not building on any green belt land should be carefully re-considered.

Yes, we need to build on brownfield sites first, but there aren’t hundreds of acres of brownfield sites in Grantham, and what brownfield sites there are, building on them can only work with complementary 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 considered and empathetic development. Society in the UK needs to look at the greenbelts outside their leisure and visual appeal, and assess how they can help to shape the way we live in the most even-handed way. Interesting times!

For more thoughts on Grantham Property market – visit the Grantham Property Blog