Why is housing so expensive?

In the 1950s, the average family spent more on clothes than housing. Since then, the proportion of what we spend on housing has doubled. How did housing become so expensive and how can we make it affordable again?

This 2-minute animation summarises the main causes of housing unaffordability in England as well as some possible solutions. It focuses mostly, though not exclusively, on the plight of private renters – the group most impacted by housing unaffordability. The facts and evidence behind the animation, as well as further readings, can be found in this fact sheet.

The animation has been led by the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) and the Affordable Housing Commission. It was been supported by the Smith Institute and the University of Glasgow.

To learn more about our work on housing affordability, contact Dr Chris Foye.






The animation has been created by


Date: December 18, 2019 9:00 am


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