Survey offers “stark warning” of housing crisis’ impact on business growth

A property consultancy claims bosses across the country are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of the housing crisis on their business.

New research from Strutt & Parker reveals that the housing crisis is moving up the boardroom agenda and is now a serious concern in companies across the UK.

Strutt & Parker, part of BNP Paribas Real Estate, surveyed 1,000 senior executives and business owners about the impact of housing on their businesses. The key findings included:

  • Three-quarters (74%) believe that high housing costs are having a negative effect on their business
  • Over half (55%) have lost staff because employees either cannot afford to live in the area or are unwilling to commute
  • 73% have struggled to attract new employees because of high housing costs in the area
  • 71% of respondents are either actively considering investing in residential areas for their employees or are thinking about doing so in future

The findings are a “stark warning” according to Stephanie McMahon, head of research at BNP Paribas Real Estate.

“When it comes to employing staff, high housing costs are restricting growth and profitability,” she added. “It’s an issue that directly affects the ability of businesses to expand. According to our survey, high housing costs are responsible for a lack of skilled workers applying for jobs and slower expansion due to unfilled positions.”

According to the survey, the housing crisis is impacting business growth because of higher wage costs (39%), lack of skilled workers (37%) and positions left unfilled (31%).

Strutt & Parker’s survey reveals that the issue of housing affordability has spread right across the country, extending far beyond London, and is now so serious that three-quarters (73%) of companies would consider relocating to an area with more affordable housing.

Nearly half of respondents (48%) believe a policy of building affordable new housing in the area around their business would help them to recruit and retain staff. Over a third (35%) also called for a policy on affordable rents and 30% wanted investment in public transport to make commuting easier and more reliable.

“Anybody would recognise that in major cities around the world the inability to provide housing that people can afford is probably one of the biggest risks to global competitiveness,” McMahon added. “You can improve infrastructure and rely on people to commute for longer, but it’s a little like sticking a plaster on the problem.”



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