We’ve spoken about this before but Ipswich is facing a predicament. The population is growing and the provision of new housing isn’t keeping up (check out our previous article https://beaglepropertyblog.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/new-build-housing-in-ipswich-only-equates-to-4-2-of-properties-sold-in-2017-2018/) With the average age of a Ipswich person being 38.0 years (compared to the East of England average of 40.2 years old and the national average of 39.4 years of age), the population of Ipswich is growing at an alarming rate. This is due to a combination of longer life expectancy, a fairly high birth rate (compared to previous decades) and high net immigration, all of which contribute to housing shortages and raising house prices.
Looking closely at some statistics, specifically for the Ipswich Borough Council area, the population projections make some startling reading…
For the Ipswich Borough Council area … these are the statistics and future forecasts
2011 population 144,957
2018 population 150,334
2021 population 153,654
2026 population 162,351
We need just under 10,000 additional new properties to be built
in the Ipswich Borough Council area over the next 20 years.
Whilst focusing on population growth does not tackle the housing crisis in the short term in Ipswich, it does have a role to play in the overall strategy and development of the future of our town. The rise of Ipswich property values in the last five years (and the seemingly reduced impact that was expected with Brexit), are primarily a result of a lack of properties coming onto the market, a lack of new properties being built in the town and rising demand (especially from landlords looking to buy property to rent them out to the growing number of people wanting to live in Ipswich but can’t buy or rent from the Council).
I’ve frequently talked about the need to improve supply, the issue of rising demand from population growth is often overlooked. Nationally, the proportion of 25-34 year olds who own their own home has dropped dramatically from 66.7% in 1987 to 41.8% in 2018, whilst 78.2% of over 65s own their own home. Longer life expectancies mean houses remain in the same hands for longer.
In the short to medium term, demand for a property will continue to grow in Ipswich (and the country as a whole). In the short term, that demand can only be met from the private rental sector (which is good news for homeowners and landlords alike as that keeps house prices higher).
With regards to the long term future it’s simple. Local & national government need to act on the reports they run and the alarming statistics in front of them. Over the next 20+ years we need to house the increasing number of people in our country. We need sustainable, environmentally friendly building that will benefit our community in Ipswich and across the country.
Figures from Rightmove, ONS, Citypopulation & Ipswich borough council