New upgrade to “Where can I afford to live?” tool

So I’m quite excited to tell you about some improvements we have made to the free to useĀ  app – where can I afford to live? – which is here.

You can now specify not only the area type (e.g. postcode sector, middle super output area etc.) and your budget range, but now the type of property (flat, detached house or even non-residential – other) and we now newly reveal how many transactions make up that average price over the last 24 months.

In my most full-time, part-time job at the Institute of Directors where I work on infrastructure policy, I have done quite a lot of work on broadband (see full paper here) and I am working on a big housing piece at the moment.

I am very struck by looking at this house price data and in particular using this tool, that there are large pockets of affordable housing all over the country. It’s just that the connectivity isn’t in place in many rural areas to make them viable homes and locations to live and work in. Ultrafast broadband to these areas really would be transformational – we could have a dynamic rural economy.

I’m sure this will change in the fullness of time but there is an argument that building ultrafast connectivity would be better done from the most remote areas inwards first. This would take some pressure off public transport and the road network for longer commutes to places of work and may even lead to urban de-scaling.

More importantly though, it would increase the disposable income of people who can make life work in much cheaper areas of the country and put capital to much more productive uses.



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