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Tackling the UK housing crisis: is supply the answer?

UK average house prices have risen by over 160% in real terms since the middle of 1996. Home ownership remains around its lowest level for a generation. Among political leaders, policymakers and commentators there is a broad consensus that these problems are largely down to one failing: decades of undersupply of housing. But this paper argues that the housing shortage story is unconvincing.

Examining official data on housing volumes and the day-to-day cost of putting a roof over one’s head the report makes the case that supply growth has in fact been sufficient to restrain upward pressure on house prices. However, much more powerful countervailing forces have driven them to record multiples of income. This implies that the current policy focus on boosting supply does not offer a solution to the housing crisis and a fundamental rethink is badly needed.

The paper has been published alongside peer-review commentary pieces:

Author: Ian Mulheirn, Executive Director and Chief Economist of Renewing the Centre, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change


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Date: August 21, 2019 12:01 am

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