Adobe Stock/Stuart Miles Stuart Miles

Creating affordable housing options that are available to the general public is a global issue. And, it stems from some consistent issues - land availability, regulation and outdated construction processes. This deep dive into the issues epitomizes the HIVE conference program.

Access to affordable housing is so fundamental to the health and well-being of people that it is embedded in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

With a global surge in demand for housing, housing stocks have not expanded quickly enough, an issue that affects households in both developing and advanced economies across the globe.

Rising housing costs are creating financial stress for urban residents all around the world. The cost of housing and rent have increased at a far greater rate than income, particularly in big, desirable cities with significant job opportunities.

A McKinsey Global Institute report released this month on housing affordability points out that the core of the issue is the substantial one-sidedness in supply and demand.

Increases in demand are being driven by substantial population growth, the persistent trend towards urbanisation and the rising global incomes. The urban population has been rising on average by 65 million people per year over the last three decades, with over 20 cities having a population greater than 10 million.

McKinsey estimate that globally some 330 million urban households currently live in substandard housing or stretch to pay housing costs that exceed 30 per cent of their income. If this trend is not reversed this number could blowout to 440 million by the year 2025.

This issue also affects economic growth, with investment in housing construction remaining at below its potential. Adding to the issue, households are having their consumption constrained due to a disproportionate share of their monthly income going towards rent or mortgage payments.

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