The Resolution Foundation’s depressing claim that one-third of millennials face renting their whole life has made headlines today. But the think tank’s report also contained the encouraging — and unsurprising — revelation that countries building plenty of homes have generally not seen huge price rises, despite low interest rates and a big banking sector. Perhaps it’s too early to admit defeat.
Source: “Home Improvements”, Resolution Foundation, 2018. Reproduced with permission.
Accounting for changes in incomes would likely make the picture even clearer, as the government’s own numbers to justify the Housing Minister’s comments on immigration showed last week, because rising incomes greatly boost demand for bigger and better homes. And yet this country continues to plan for future housing demand as if rising incomes didn’t matter, and then pretends to be surprised when the shortage gets worse.
It is good to see a high-quality research institution stress that a household can only form when a new home is built – which is why counting households is a silly way to try to argue there is no housing shortage – and provide sobering evidence that governments have generally failed to meet their housing targets for two decades: