The Federation of Master Builders

One third of Northern Ireland’s NIMBYs concerned about house prices

Published date: 15 November 2017

A third of NI’s NIMBYs admit to being frustrated that the next generation can’t afford to buy their own home, according to the latest research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Key results from the FMB’s UK-wide research into NIMBYs (‘not-in-my-back-yarders’), or in other words people who tend to take an anti-development view to new homes being built in their area, include:

  • A third (33%) of home owners in Northern Ireland who are concerned about new houses or flats being built in their community also admit to feeling frustrated that the next generation cannot afford to buy a property in the local area;
  • One-fifth (21%) of NI home owners are concerned about houses or flats being built in their community having a negative impact on where they live;
  • More than a quarter (27%) of Northern Irish people feel frustrated their children, grandchildren or great grandchildren cannot afford to buy a property in the same area as them;
  • Compared with the other home nations, only one fifth of home owners in NI are NIMBYs whereas one third of home owners in England take this attitude. The percentage of home owners that are NIMBYs in each home nation is as follows:
  • England (34%)
  • Scotland (29%)
  • Wales (28%)
  • Northern Ireland (21%)

Gavin McGuire, Director of FMB Northern Ireland, said: “One-fifth of homeowners in NI are NIMBYs. Although there appear to be significantly fewer NIMBYs in NI than England, where one-third of homeowners take this view, NIMBYism can still pose problems by blocking the delivery of new homes in NI. We know that, in recent years, anti-development groups have begun to use social media and online petitions. These platforms allow them to shout loudly and be listened to, regardless of how few people they might, in reality, represent. It does seem strangely ironic that a third of NI’s NIMBYs admit to being frustrated about the affordability of new homes, but are concerned that new houses will negatively impact on where they live. The FMB’s research published today demonstrates a mismatch that still exists in too many people’s minds. We hope this research will be helpful in reminding people that they can’t have it both ways. If we don’t continue to build and bring forward new homes for the younger generations, then we’ll continue to make life harder for those generations.”

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