Towards a Brighter Future-or Not?
for Building Societies Association (BSA) at Harrogate International Centre
20 May 2009
In his Keynote Speech Professor Scase outlined some of the major socio-demographic factors that will affect the demand for owner-occupation in the future. There will be a continuing growth in the number of households in the UK but the expansion of single person households, stability in house prices (rather than house price inflation), and greater personal mobility will reduce the appeal of home ownership. The demand for rented accommodation will increase but with little social housing under construction, it is inevitable that homelessness and ‘accomodation stress’ will increase among younger people, migrants and single, older men and women.
But he said that history shows that every recession is a period of invention and innovation and so he concluded his presentation by describing the great opportunities available to building societies if only they would exploit the ‘trust’ quality of their brand, their heritage as mutual societies and did more to attract high energy, creative talent into the sector. With successful leadership, they would be able to defeat the challenges offered by both on-line and off-line financial competitors.