Government housing policy in the United Kingdom, particularly after 2004, have a propensities to promote the virtues of home ownership at the expense of the various rental sectors (both market and social) and overall housing choice. Policy directives contributed significantly to sustaining a dualism in the housing market where renting, in its different guises, is relegated to a marginal position and tenants, unlike owners, are arguably cast as second-class citizens. However, past and recent research (e.g. Bramley & Watkins,P.23, 2004; Maclennan et al., P.104, 2002; Radley, P.45, 2004) has suggested that there are severe limits to the proportion of housing needs which can be realistically satisfied through owner occupation (even including low cost sales and Right to Buy). Action is therefore needed to provide greater term choice through the provision of more private and, especially, social rented housing to meet the needs of those unable to become homeowners.The British land-use planning process has changed very little since its constitutional beginning in the 1940s. Planning is primarily restricted to considering land-use issues through the management and coordination of policy at various levels of administration by a variety of agencies and actors. Implied to the operation of the land-use planning system is a national coordinating level, where the social, economic and environmental needs of spatial areas can be addressed in an integrated way. Although this suggests that planning can only be operated effectively when land-use issues are considered strategically (Bruton and Nicholson, P. 21-40, 2004; Rowan-Robinson et al., P, 369-381, 2004; Breheny, P. 233-249, 2002), the provision of a national element of strategic coordination by the central state is an essential ingredient in physical development. As Diamond (P18-25, 2004) has remarked, strategic planning sets out a frame of reference for the organisation of planning at the lower tiers of administration. The planning process is managed and implemented by national and local tiers of government and is hierarchical in policy framework (Tewdwr-Jones, P. 584-593, 2005). Although there has never been a 'national physical plan' in England, central government has always provided a clear approach in determining and promoting planning policy to be operated across the various spatial areas. Rather than developing a statutory national physical plan, the government has preferred to rely on a system of discretion rather than prescription, a process where central government sets down the legal framework and broad policy for local government to interpret.
The aims and objectives of the authors working title is to explore the difficulties the first time buyer experiences in accessing affordable properties in Leeds City Centre.
In researching the question many contributing factors have been identified both on a local and national level that make city centre living unaffordable for the majority of first time buyers.
To avoid confusion and to add clarity to the investigation an extensive look at the national housing market was undertaken.
The UK has experienced a long-term upward trend in real house prices , 2.7 per cent per annum over the last 20 years ( Barker Review 2004). This has created problems of affordability for the first time bu