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NIMBYism on the Decline According to New Housing Poll

Survey respondents agree house prices are too high, majority support limited building in the countryside

UK Residential Property Housing Market Survey

Attitudes towards local house building have changed over the past six years, a new poll by ComRes for the Centre for Policy Studies has found.

The survey of 2,036 adults, conducted to assess public attitudes towards the housing crisis, confirmed there has been a shift away from NIMBYism – a term used to describe residents who are opposed to local residential and commercial developments.

According to the poll, 48% said they would support the building of more homes in their local area, against 33% who said they would not.

This margin is upheld across all age groups, social classes, and political persuasions, and in every region of the country with the exception of the South East.

Additionally, 63% of those polled agree that local house prices are too high, ranging from 79% in London to 45% in the North East.

Although the majority of respondents support limited building in the UK’s countryside, the overall proportion supporting this remains unchanged since 2010.

However, voters remain opposed to the two main proposals for countryside developments, which includes loosening protections for green belt land around train stations and other existing buildings.

Commenting on the results, the Director of the Centre for Policy Studies, Robert Colvile, said: “Unsurprisingly, this polling backs up the assumption that people want houses they can afford - and think that house price inflation has gone way too far.

“What’s interesting about this poll is that a significant majority, 48% of voters, support more homes being built in their local area. This is a huge shift from attitudes even a few years ago where NIMBYism was the clear winner.

“It’s clear from this polling that if this Government is to win over ordinary working people, fixing the housing crisis should be top of ministers' to-do list.”

Housing was among the top priorities for both Labour and Conservatives at their annual party conferences.

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