At a recent meeting with Julian Winders, manager of the Holmfirth branch of the Yorkshire Building Society, Labour’s parliamentary candidate, Jane East, was alerted to a worrying trend in the local housing market.
A detailed analysis of the Land Registry by Andrew McPhillips, The Chief Economist of the Building Society, shows that the number of new-build transactions was down by more than a quarter across Yorkshire compared to 2013. And over the past 5 years, in Colne Valley, there have been 6,601 property transactions, compared with 10,249 in the period from 2005 - 2009, broadly in line with the picture across Yorkshire.
Jane East said:
“I think there's a real challenge around housing in the Colne and Holme Valleys. There is pressure on land and yet with our growing population and the changing nature of households, we need more homes for our young families. There has been a collapse in the building of new starter homes and what we see are young people getting stuck in high-cost, insecure private-rented accommodation. Children from the valleys can’t afford to stay in the places where they were born because there aren’t enough of the kind of houses they can afford.
"Labour is committed to forcing developers to build on land identified for housing to meet this shortfall. The current government's Help to Buy Scheme has had no noticeable impact here.
"Yorkshire Building Society has said that not a single household is likely to be affected by Labour's mansion tax.”