Will UK Household size continue to fall?
That would be bullish for UK Property prices
title added here by DrB
Why is it so expensive to buy a house? / 2006
By Ian Pollock
Personal finance reporter, BBC News
Our national obsession is unlikely to fade.
We are going to see a big increase in the number of smaller, older, households over the next 10 to 20 years
Even more people will want a home in the coming years.
The population of the UK is predicted to rise from 60 million in 2005, to 62 million in 2011, and nearly 65 million by 2021.
More importantly, the number of households, which is the key determinant of how many homes will be needed, is also going to rise sharply as well.
There are currently 22.8 million households in Great Britain.
The Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG) predicts that another million or so will be added in the next five years alone.
And by 2016 there will be 25.1 million households in Britain - an increase of 2.3 million in just ten years.
A lot of attention has been given to the fact that the country has seen a surge in immigration recently, principally from Eastern Europe.
But Professor Michael Ball, of the University of Reading business school, said the rise in household numbers will be driven by a large increase in the number of us who are living alone.
"The big driver at the moment is actually the ageing society.
"At the same time general household size is getting smaller, so we are going to see a big increase in the number of smaller, older, households over the next 10 to 20 years," said Professor Ball.
The size of the average English household has already fallen steadily from 3.1 in 1961 to 2.29 today.
The DCLG predicts that in the next 15 years that will fall even further, to just 2.21.
Not enough houses
One of the main reasons why house prices have been so buoyant for the last ten years is that the country has simply not been building enough to meet the demand for houses to buy or rent.
"We estimate that the number of households has been growing at 200,000 or even more each year in recent years," said Milan Katri, chief economist of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
"Yet new building has been running at between 140,000 and 160,000 a year," he added.
Thanks to successive government policies, hardly any new council houses have been built for the last 20 years.
LINKS - added
UK stats index :: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/the...l_Trends_39.pdf
Link to here :: http://tinyurl.com/GPC-hhsize