On a rough estimate, the UK needs an additional 250,000 new homes each year to meet rising demand, as the population grows and more people choose to live alone. That works out as around 62,500 a quarter. Yet we’re still well short of that target.
I have a comment on the Prime Ministerial pot calling the Opposition kettle economically illiterate over on Independent Voices. Help to Buy is a terrible scheme for creating credit, recycling money in the housing market to create grateful winners who might vote Conservative and disguised losers who don’t know they are losing.
As a footnote, yesterday’s [...]
Just because George Osborne’s Help to Buy scheme is evidently stupid, doesn’t mean you can write any old rubbish. The Guardian’s leading article this morning is typical of the pap that is usually written about housing. More than 100,000 houses are being built each year. This is quite a lot. The shortfall from the Five-Year [...]
This, via Full Fact, is the only graph you need to continue the debate about housing policy. If the conventional wisdom is that the Attlee and Macmillan governments built a lot of houses, it contradicts it. Not many were built under Attlee, and the peak was under Wilson in 1968. Which is what gave us [...]
The one thing the Ed Miliband proposed in his tectonic, world-shattering, turning-point speech today that has not been done by the present coalition or the last Labour governments was “build more houses”. This is good populism. Opinion polls show that 55 per cent of people agree with it.
But there is a reason why this popular [...]
This month’s Census confirms a seismic shift in the way we are living. With homeownership falling, we have to reform the rental market to make it a decent place to live.
The imagery and the towns change, but the theme of party conferences is always the same: we are the party looking out for YOU.
The British public, in aggregate, paid down existing mortgages over the month, rather than taking on new home borrowing.
Does this matter for the wider economy? Interesting the OBR suggested in March that it does not.
If the Chancellor had cut less on infrastructure and housing, other things being equal, construction would not have fallen by the same degree, GDP growth in the first quarter would have been flat, and Britain would not now be in a double dip recession.
So Boris is back, and with yesterday’s news that tenants are being evicted by unscrupulous landlords ahead of the Olympics, housing issues are already at the fore of the agenda. And what an agenda. Rachmanesque rentiers aside, the government’s reforms have unwittingly created a toxic policy mix that is a ticking time bomb – one with a short fuse, at that: detonation 2013.
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