Huge support for house building in Leeds among the younger generation

Huge support for house building in Leeds among the younger generation

As over 12,000 delegates gather in Leeds this week for UKREiiF – the biggest property conference in the country – new research shows that younger people in Leeds are keen to stay in the ‘vibrant and friendly’ city but are worried about being priced out of the area because of the lack of affordable homes to rent or buy.

The research – ‘Get cracking and build’ – carried out by digital communications experts, Shared Voice, and Just Build Homes, of over 350 18-44 years olds living in Leeds shows:

  • 77% think we need to build more homes in the city.
  • 74% say their housing costs have increased over the last 12 months.
  • More than one in three (37%) are worried about being priced out of where they live because housing is too expensive, or rents are too high. This number rises to 77% of those that are in private rented accommodation. 

The price many were willing to pay for a realistic chance of owning their own home within five years was high with four out of ten people saying they would forgo having children. Two-thirds said they were willing to give up foreign holidays and social activities to be in their own home.

There was a lot of enthusiasm for life in Leeds among this age group who praised good public transport links to shops, parks, and other amenities as well as diverse cultural and nightlight experiences, a vibrant sense of community, friendly people, and excellent job opportunities.

Wyn Evans, a Founding Director of Shared Voice, said:

“This level of support for housebuilding is extraordinary and demonstrates that there are millions of people out there who are supportive of housebuilding. 

“This younger generation do not normally engage with the planning process and developers need to be asking why traditional planning communications are failing to reach this large audience.

“It also demonstrates why Keir Starmer and the Labour Party have come out so strongly in support of new homes – there are votes in it, lots of votes.”

Millie Dodd, Spokesperson for Just Build Homes, added:

“Our findings in Leeds reflect the conversations Just Build Homes is having with people affected by the housing crisis all over the country. The cost of housing is continuing to rise and is becoming out of reach for many because there are simply not enough homes being built. We just need to ‘Get cracking and build’.”

Shared Voice and Just Build Homes will be teaming up with planning experts Quod, to launch the survey findings at the UKREiiF conference, on Tuesday 21 May at 3pm. 

Emma Lancaster, a director at Quod’s Leeds office, said:

“This report comes at a critical time. The Council is in the early stages of its work on Leeds Local Plan 2040, grappling with the question of how it should meet its housing needs over the next Plan Period.

“Significant progress in housing land supply and delivery has been made in Leeds in recent years, but this report confirms that not all parts of the city are benefiting, and that a real step change is required if the Council is going to meet its identified needs for affordable housing and achieve its Best City ambition.”

Shared Voice was launched in April 2024 to create a brand-new offer for the planning communications market, aimed at helping connecting developers with the silent, pro-housing majority for the first time. Shared Voice provide a single communications solution from pre-application to Committee.

The offer is unique because it focuses on finding genuine supporters and making that the focal point of communications at every stage – rather than spending time and money trying to persuade objectors.

It is challenging the traditional model of exhibitions and behind the scenes lobbying, in favour of leveraging the power of the silent supportive majority.

Shared Voice is the team behind Just Build Homes, a YIMBY brand that has consistently and successfully mobilised thousands of people across the UK to support planning applications for new housing in their own area. A full copy of the report can be obtained here: “Get cracking and build” – Housing attitudes of 18-44 year olds living in Leeds – Shared Voice

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