Why NIMBY homeowners don’t want new-builds popping up near them

Those who already own their own homes in the UK are sympathetic to the difficulties faced by first-time buyers trying to get onto the property ladder – but it seems they’re less affable when it comes to the practicalities of creating a solution.

Although the goal of homeownership has begun to take a back-seat in the UK as more young professionals enjoy the flexibility of renting instead, getting onto the property ladder is nevertheless still an ambition for many – and one that is increasingly difficult as house price rises have been surpassing wage growth for years.

In a recent survey conducted by Jackson-Stops estate agents, 74% of homeowners agreed that it was difficult for first-time buyers to purchase their first home in their local area, while 81% acknowledged that young people in particular today had a harder time getting onto the property ladder than their parents.

However, rather than be willing to accept the steps being taken to help prospective first-time buyers, including the construction of new-build developments in areas of high demand, the attitude among many homeowners turned to “Nimbyism” – an acronym for Not In My Back Yard which refers to those who support certain measures as long as they are not too close to them, or will not be directly affected by them.

Not in my back yard

More than half (51%) of homeowners said that they did not want to see any new housing developments going up near them, with 70% stating they were worried that the local infrastructure wouldn’t cope with the increased population as a result of new housing developments. A further 71% argued that protecting the greenbelt should be prioritised over building new homes – while 45% said they were self-confessed NIMBYs on the issue.

Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops, urged homeowners to be more understanding of the problems faced by the housing market, and the need to build more new homes.

He said: “The reality is that we are suffering from an acute housing crisis and at present only 6% of the UK is built on. With the UK population expected to surpass 70 million in just eight years’ time, we must challenge our views on local house building.

“It’s important to further investigate the reasons why many don’t wish to see more local house building. In comparison with other countries, the UK occupies a relatively small footprint and many of our villages, towns and cities are densely populated.”

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