A garden town is a development of more than 10,000 homes, and garden villages are smaller settlements between 1,500 and 10,000 homes. Garden cities have been long established, Sir Ebenezer Howard came up with the concept in 1898, creating Letchworth Garden City in Hertfordshire, later followed by Welwyn Garden City. As the UK is faced with a growing issue of a housing shortage, the government has decided to create 14 more of these new villages in rural regions to provide over 48,000 homes. But is this enough to solve the uneven balance of supply Vs demand?
The good news is that new villages create new communities which in turn creates new jobs and facilities which helps boost the local economy. More importantly to the property industry, these new homes represent opportunities for agents. There could be several different developers in one site alone, and therefore it is important that agents position themselves well, so that when the opportunity arises you are at the forefront of the developers mind. It will also be a good use of brownfield sites, as there will be facilities provided within the villages to attract people to the outskirts of a city.
Whilst it is promising to hear of such schemes, especially to accommodate the growing number of First-Time Buyers, the concern is that there is not enough money in the pot committed to building these homes. It seems that 14 plots of Garden Villages does not come close to sustaining the housing market and with no mention of Garden Cities, the larger developments have been downsized to just villages. There needs to be a combination of Garden Cities, Towns and villages to make a serious impression on the property industry.
The government needs to continue rolling out schemes such as the Garden Villages, year on year to help alleviate the housing crisis. As well as going one step further and encouraging even larger developments such as the Garden cities, as there are more advantages of creating a larger community with more opportunities on a Brownfield site.