A ramble today…

Much commentary on the current housing crisis is based solely on affordability both in terms of deposit and ongoing cost. While low inflation rates aid within ongoing affordability the increase is prices caused by such rates creates a deposit problem.

However it is worth considering the housing crises in light of the changing work environment also being established. While zero hour contracts are obviously obstructive to mortgage access such casual employment models are potentially likely to see an increase in use either in zero contract employment or self employed work. Additional further automation of labour activities such as lorry driving and retail work plus a potential reduction in consumption triggered by sustainability requirements may place further pressure on future earnings.

Against this backdrop of employment the historic models of housing ownership may become increasingly obstructive and damaging to the individual and consequently society at large. A future of employment based around few, high productivity roles with geographically dynamic opportunities while require a work force capable of such physical relocation and unburdened by property ownership. It perhaps will also have to suit a reduction in hours worked as well and the realisation that earned accommodation is possibly irrelevant. Essentially how do you get mortgage if you’ll never have a job?

Of course it is my opinion that all people deserve somewhere to live and perhaps even multiple locations to support a reduced hours, high productivity, geographically dispersed work. This statement is inherently incompatible with the current housing climate.

It does not seam obvious or likely that property ownership through longer term mortgage should be the primary model. Rather, flexible reliable accommodation that can be occupied as need while providing the stability required should be sought and secured. The challenge is how to create an environment in which such housing can be made available rather than the outdated priority of property ownership.