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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. Homeownership 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 the housing shortage story is unconvincing.

Official data on housing volumes and the day-to-day cost of putting a roof over one’s head suggest that supply growth has 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.

Author(s): Ian Mulheirn
Published: 14 August 2019
Categorised in: Housing choice | Housing supply
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