Poor housing conditions in Wales have left the Principality with a housing stock deficit running to tens of thousands.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has found Wales needs 33,000 new houses to clear the backlog in demand, over and above the requirement for 8,600 new properties a year between 1998 and 2016.
Part of the problem has been caused by the Welsh preference for new-build property, which is reflected in a willingness to pay almost 50% more for newly-built homes.
The research discovered 6,100 new, private-sector and 2,500 social-sector homes are needed each year. But although an average of 7,100 of the former are being built each year there are only 1,600 being built in the social sector.
The CML has urged the Welsh Assembly Government to rectify this imbalance by improving existing housing stock, possibly by transferring a greater proportion to the social sector and renovating it where appropriate.
Ian Smith, chairman of CML Cymru, said: ‘This new research gives politicians and housing providers a valuable new insight into how many homes will be needed in Wales between now and 2016. But supply and demand could drift further out of line unless the existing backlog is dealt with, and more is done to either upgrade or clear the large stock of older, poor-quality housing.’