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British renters are losers The 'smug mortgaged' need to feel our pain

The housing 'discourse' gets pretty heated. Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The housing 'discourse' gets pretty heated. Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images


May 12, 2023   5 mins

My renting life is now on the verge of eclipsing my non-renting life: I have been paying monthly rent for 17 years. As a millennial, I am of the first major generation to get to this age and not be even close to a mortgage, and it’s not just me being a bit all over the place and bad at credit cards. To crib stats from a new book, All The Houses I’ve Ever Lived In, by Kieran Yates: “In the 1980s, it would have taken a typical couple in their late twenties around three years to save for an average-sized deposit. Today, it would take 19.”

And so I continue to live in a very strange mezzanine flat with a tin foil-effect, orange, dappled wall we are not allowed to paint over, praying they don’t raise the rent next year because there’s not much further east in this city I can go.

Problems with the housing system in this country track straight back to Thatcher’s “Right To Buy” Housing Act in the Eighties, which offered such irresistible purchase terms to council tenants that a huge amount of the country’s public housing stock went private almost overnight, and there it has stayed. We are not building enough homes, and the ones we are building very often loophole their way around the wet tissue paper of affordable housing regulation, to create stacks of dizzyingly expensive grey newbuilds — often over the exact same spot where thriving community blocks once stood.

A buy-to-let boom in the early Aughts winnowed the housing stock even further, and now look where we are: people are queuing for rental viewings, outbidding one another on houses for sale, writing earnest letters about how wholesomely they will live there. Housing prices stay high and stable, justifying the mythical “market rate” — a number made up, and reinvented every six weeks, by estate agents — which means rents go up in turn, which means people renting save less, which means their buying power diminishes even further. Then came the pandemic. I don’t know a single person whose rent hasn’t gone up since, and gone up drastically.

So those are some of the problems. But the main one is inter-generational communication. It’s in the mud. How do you explain to a generation who saved for a deposit for three years that cutting back on brunch isn’t going to be enough? All The Houses I’ve Ever Lived In threatens, at least, to close that communication gap. Like me, Yates has lived in a lot of buildings (25, to my lowly 13): flats, houses, temporary accommodation, studios above car showrooms. Like me, Yates has written a lot about housing — as well as youth culture, politics, and music (an early chapter details how the thin walls of the since-demolished Green Man Lane estate meant you learned about music based on what your neighbours like listening to). Unlike me, Yates maintains her cool. I recently ruined a polite lunch with an elderly relative with one of my “landlords are scum” tirades, which went on far too long and changed absolutely no one’s mind.

Renting used to be a viable way to exist in this country. Figure out which parts of the city or country you actually like. Have 10 housemates and live on the cheap and pursue something dumb and creative for a couple of years. Don’t move in with that boyfriend you’re not sure about just because your tenancy agreements are both up at more-or-less the same time. It now just means paying the most money you’ve ever paid for anything, every single month, for something that mostly sucks and is actively stopping you getting on the fabled British dream, the housing ladder. And then you get an e-mail in January saying: rent’s going up again.

It would have been easy for a book about the bottom-to-middle unfairness of the housing system to turn into a manifesto shouted into an echo chamber, but Yates remembers to be funny while explaining how messed up it all is. She takes in the wonder of having a plant in your house, for a generation who rarely gets to actually plunge one into the soil of a garden; the small beauty of that one trinket that when you unpack it makes a place feel a little like home; the frequent movers’ aversion to collecting too much stuff. These details are important. The strange rift between those who rent now (in hell) and those who rented then (during the three years required to save a deposit) often strips out the sheer reality of being alive — of the comfort of home, of peace and quiet, of making friends with your neighbours, of forming stronger and more useful communities with years-deep bonds.

Those who float above the rental market have forgotten what it’s like to come in from a long day of work to find three random people in your front room because your flatmate says so. Or: how one person’s decision to abruptly move out and give you all only 20 days’ notice threatens to ruin the next month of your life and potentially bankrupt you. Or: not telling your GP you moved because you like them and getting a new one is a nightmare. Or: how renting feels like moving a cardboard box from house to house, never fully unpacking, because your role in the system isn’t to live a life and steal some peace at the end of the day, it’s to keep the value of the property you’re in nice and high by making it look like you were never there at all.

In the chapter on her time in halls at Goldsmiths, Yates describes coming home from an exhausting catering shift to one of those pounding pyramid-of-tins parties that only students can throw. Her anecdotes always have a point. She makes it clear that, though the cheap furniture is the same for every student, the experience for those from working-class and middle-class backgrounds is vitally different: The Best Years Of Your Life don’t apply to everyone. These details, again and again, help push the central thesis of the book: living with a roof over your head shouldn’t be this hard, exhausting, and expensive.

This book is one that needs to be pressed into a lot of hands, then. Because we only hear about the housing crisis when mortgage rates go up. There is still a generational divide between what rent means as a system, and what it actually is now. Twenty years ago, my sister was able to rent a flat for a year on her own “just to see how she liked it” — this is fairly unimaginable to me. But the theory of renting still works — and the practice of it did for a long time in this country. Something has broken, though. Why can the fabled German rental market — with its infinite tenancies and rent-hike regulation — work so normally and so relatively well, while ours is just an Old West shoot-out? Because everyone still thinks the problem lies with avocado toast. The communication here has to change.

All The Houses… wouldn’t work if Yates didn’t finish up by making sensible, workable, viable suggestions on how to fix things, which she does: rent controls, “Right To Return” policies for communities dislodged by tower block regeneration, annual housing MOTs written into law and adhered to before a landlord can raise rent — which should be capped, by the way. We should actually enforce affordable housing targets, build more and safer social housing, and write housing administration lessons into the curriculum. There are radical solutions and there are community-driven ones, but there isn’t a clear one, and when the system is working so well for a privileged few, there’s not enough agitation to change it. This is why “stop going on holiday!” is somehow the dominant form of housing ladder advice.

If you’re living in a mortgaged property right now, and feeling fairly safe and secure about it, go kiss your doorframe for me. Pat your stairs and look out of your windows. Refresh your e-mail inbox and enjoy the fact that it didn’t just tell you that you’re being evicted. You’re one of the lucky ones. But don’t you think having a home shouldn’t be based on luck anymore?


Joel Golby is a writer for Vice, where he was the author of the Rental Opportunity of the Week column. His first book was Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant.

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Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

So much wrong with this article.
Yes, unaffordable housing in the UK is a disaster, both immediately for younger people and for all of us eventually. But there is little unique about the UK here – this is all across the developed world.
But we won’t get anywhere if the recalled “facts” and analysis are so wide of the mark.
Right to Buy is not the reason for high house prices. House prices are ridiculously high in countries where there was no right to buy.
But to Let does not of itself affect the housing stock. It just changes the ownership. I’m surprised this needs saying. In a normal market, the increased demand it indicates would also increase supply. But UK housing isn’t a normal market.
People with mortgages face similar risks of eviction/repossion as renters. Entirely possible we’re heading for an early 90s style rise in repossessions – there are certainly a lot of people on interest only mortgages with no obvious means to repay their enornmous loans. Those who felt obliged to buy into a grossly inflated housing market may be just as much victims as renters. That’s happened before.
The reason we tolerate all this is not because “the system is working so well for a privileged few”. It’s because it’s believed (incorrectly in my view) to be working well for a majority of those who get off their backsides and vote.
Rent controls simply don’t work. Enough evidence from around the world here. Further experiments are uneccesary and won’t help.
Finally, the elephant in the room. No mention at all of the effect of an increasing population on the demand for housing – and the consequent inflation of housing prices – both for renters and those who buy houses.
When are these young people going to learn about the law of supply and demand ? It’s hardly rocket science.
There’s an important article to be written here on housing and the appalling impact this must be having on young people. But sadly, this isn’t it.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Spot on. The London commuter town I live in has grown hugely in the 20 years I’ve lived here. We are building a lot of houses, but can’t keep pace with the influx.

I’d also query whether being unable to afford a flat of your own after 17 years in the job market doesn’t say more about career progression than housing.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Ouch!

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Please!That last comment is so snide and petty, effectively implying that only certain people who have “succeeded” in a career (and good job not everyone does by the way – we don’t want the entire world in middle management!) deserves secure housing.

There is a certain kind of smug middle class person who convinces themselves that they did it purely by talent and hard work and that the younger generation are so some bizarre reason as a group lazy, feckless and pampered, which is vanishingly unlikely to be the case. We have clear structural reasons why we have the situation we do, and endless cheering on house price Inflation by the ‘haves’ is at least part of this.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

There is also a ‘certain kind of smug middle class person’ who convinces themselves that what the world needs is more people in traditional middle class roles when what we actually need is technologists, plumbers and bricklayers. If you want to be a writer then fine – but you have to accept the poverty which, for all but the most talented of scribblers, comes with the lifestyle.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

The point is about personal responsibility. If the job you’re in doesn’t pay enough to rent a small place of your own, and doesn’t have any prospects of doing so, then get a different job. If you want to sit still for 17 years that’s your choice.

As others point out, it is possible to buy a house in different parts of the country and there are well paid jobs available. If you want to be a hip Vice journalist in London, fine, but take what comes with it.

I certainly don’t think the younger generation is lazy or feckless. I think they have it harder than my generation but you can only play the cards you’re dealt. My comment is on this particular author, who doesn’t seem willing to make personal changes to address his situation.

If you disagree, just disagree. There is no need to impute negative character traits to somebody you know nothing about.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

That may work individually, however there simply aren’t enough jobs in the cheaper regions of the country to support a mass exodus of youngsters moving there so it isn’t a solution at a national level. When an ever increasing number of jobs are becoming concentrated in the south east, it’s a bit daft to tell all the youngsters to move up north

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

That may work individually, however there simply aren’t enough jobs in the cheaper regions of the country to support a mass exodus of youngsters moving there so it isn’t a solution at a national level. When an ever increasing number of jobs are becoming concentrated in the south east, it’s a bit daft to tell all the youngsters to move up north

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

There is also a ‘certain kind of smug middle class person’ who convinces themselves that what the world needs is more people in traditional middle class roles when what we actually need is technologists, plumbers and bricklayers. If you want to be a writer then fine – but you have to accept the poverty which, for all but the most talented of scribblers, comes with the lifestyle.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

The point is about personal responsibility. If the job you’re in doesn’t pay enough to rent a small place of your own, and doesn’t have any prospects of doing so, then get a different job. If you want to sit still for 17 years that’s your choice.

As others point out, it is possible to buy a house in different parts of the country and there are well paid jobs available. If you want to be a hip Vice journalist in London, fine, but take what comes with it.

I certainly don’t think the younger generation is lazy or feckless. I think they have it harder than my generation but you can only play the cards you’re dealt. My comment is on this particular author, who doesn’t seem willing to make personal changes to address his situation.

If you disagree, just disagree. There is no need to impute negative character traits to somebody you know nothing about.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

I have a lot of sympathy with people in the author’s position and I wouldn’t assume that his predicament means he’s not good at his job. Most jobs simply don’t and cannot pay enough to buy housing now.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Geography plays a huge role in this.
I’m close to paying off my mortgage in a moderate sized town in the north. I had the opportunity to transfer to Cambridge with a very sizable pay rise. However, looking at the cost of a similar house in the area, it would have been a significant reduction in disposable income. Ostensibly my home was going from ~3* salary to ~10*. That isn’t a good deal.

This is a substantial part of the UK’s economic woes where we’ve moved so much of our industry and commerce to a small number of locations. The bright lights attract people (particularly university graduates) but they’re a lure, (or noob trap to use gaming vernacular).

I know a few people with good jobs struggling to get on the property ladder and it’s down the industries they work and the locations they are in. I know others with less well paid jobs getting by just – again, because of where they’re located.

So, as far as this story is concerned, I think two things are true at the same time.
Government, and local, policy and corporate behaviour are super heating the economies of major cities and regions (particularly London and the SE).Individuals are making poor choices about the careers, locations and lifestyles they wish to pursue.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Absolutely. If jobs were better distributed then people would be too, and house prices in the south would reduce. But, and ther’e always a but in this, young people want to move to large conurbations, and particularly to London, because that’s where the jobs are (at least for graduates), and high value jobs go to those areas because that’s were the trained people are – and so it goes round. The only way to break this vicious cycle is social engineering, and that always works so well.

Mark Goodhand
Mark Goodhand
1 year ago

It’s not just about the jobs.
Some people just like living in cities, because the density means you have a wider range of experiences on your doorstep.
https://astralcodexten.substack.com/p/change-my-mind-density-increases

Mark Goodhand
Mark Goodhand
1 year ago

It’s not just about the jobs.
Some people just like living in cities, because the density means you have a wider range of experiences on your doorstep.
https://astralcodexten.substack.com/p/change-my-mind-density-increases

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Absolutely. If jobs were better distributed then people would be too, and house prices in the south would reduce. But, and ther’e always a but in this, young people want to move to large conurbations, and particularly to London, because that’s where the jobs are (at least for graduates), and high value jobs go to those areas because that’s were the trained people are – and so it goes round. The only way to break this vicious cycle is social engineering, and that always works so well.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Same in my area. No extra facilities and infrastructure, though.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Ouch!

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Please!That last comment is so snide and petty, effectively implying that only certain people who have “succeeded” in a career (and good job not everyone does by the way – we don’t want the entire world in middle management!) deserves secure housing.

There is a certain kind of smug middle class person who convinces themselves that they did it purely by talent and hard work and that the younger generation are so some bizarre reason as a group lazy, feckless and pampered, which is vanishingly unlikely to be the case. We have clear structural reasons why we have the situation we do, and endless cheering on house price Inflation by the ‘haves’ is at least part of this.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

I have a lot of sympathy with people in the author’s position and I wouldn’t assume that his predicament means he’s not good at his job. Most jobs simply don’t and cannot pay enough to buy housing now.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Geography plays a huge role in this.
I’m close to paying off my mortgage in a moderate sized town in the north. I had the opportunity to transfer to Cambridge with a very sizable pay rise. However, looking at the cost of a similar house in the area, it would have been a significant reduction in disposable income. Ostensibly my home was going from ~3* salary to ~10*. That isn’t a good deal.

This is a substantial part of the UK’s economic woes where we’ve moved so much of our industry and commerce to a small number of locations. The bright lights attract people (particularly university graduates) but they’re a lure, (or noob trap to use gaming vernacular).

I know a few people with good jobs struggling to get on the property ladder and it’s down the industries they work and the locations they are in. I know others with less well paid jobs getting by just – again, because of where they’re located.

So, as far as this story is concerned, I think two things are true at the same time.
Government, and local, policy and corporate behaviour are super heating the economies of major cities and regions (particularly London and the SE).Individuals are making poor choices about the careers, locations and lifestyles they wish to pursue.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Same in my area. No extra facilities and infrastructure, though.

Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

The laws of supply and demand that you feel are so obvious, imply that you feel the market is a free one. It has been the absolute imperative of a succession of governments (here in the Uk and as you correctly point out in other countries) to artificially keep house prices high through a multitude of shenanigans. Why? because then the asset owners will vote for them.
There is nothing free market about this, and hence appealing to the ‘law’ of supply and demand is nonsensical.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

I think Peter is saying when you have massive demand (500k immigrants a year) and low supply (200k new dwellings built a year) that law of supply and demand dictates prices will go up.

The law remains constant. You can either increase supply (notoriously difficult because people vigorously oppose new development near them) or reduce demand (possible now we are out of the EU but still the government resists capping immigration at a sensible level). I would suggest they cap total net immigration at half the number of new dwellings completed in the previous year. So the 2023 cap would be 115k – which is still a lot of foreign workers.

That the author of the article doesn’t mention immigration at all is mind-boggling.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt M
Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Mind boggling indeed but very telling.It’s stil politically incorrect to mention overpopulation as the cause of anything, like global warming for instance. Overpopulation and religions are intertwined, but are the elephants in the room as far as the media goes. Muslims have guilt-tripped people into silence. It’s a religion that’s heavily into control and knows how to use it to silence critics. There is, of course the fear factor of speaking out because you might get killed for so doing. A valid concern.Of course catholicism isn’t much better as far as uncontrolled breeding goes but the younger generation may eased up a bit. Fundamentalism likes to take the bible literally when, way back then, someone supposedly said “go forth and multiply’. So they’re still at it regardless of how unsustainable it makes life on this planet for the rest of us.

rigby.kevinp
rigby.kevinp
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

But is it overpopulation or simply a shortage of accommodation? These people have to live somewhere.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  rigby.kevinp

Aren’t they two sides of the same coin?
In 2021 there were 28k more people born in England and Wales than died. If immigration was zero (which I’m not suggesting) we would need to build very few new homes each year to house our population.
Surely we can cap immigration at a sensible number that relieves the strain on housing, public services and infrastructure while still bringing in essential workers.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt M
Alice Rowlands
Alice Rowlands
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

I keep reading about all the empty homes going to rack and ruin. Why doesn’t the government compulsory purchase and renovate them and add them to the available housing stock?

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Alice Rowlands

It’s a reasonable idea. There are lots of good ideas in these comments. But the thing that is going to reduce house price inflation the most is reducing demand by reducing immigration numbers.
I think the party wins that moves first on a policy of:
“we will to continue to build 200k new houses a year and we will keep net immigration to 100k a year until a house of your own is affordable for every working British couple.”

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt M
Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

And the demand of the super rich needs to be curbed and more quotas for affordable housing enforced.
‘In the last 20 years there has been no region of England where there was a net shortage in dwellings, and every region has seen its surplus building stock grow since 2001’
https://positivemoney.org/2023/01/more-than-building-new-houses/#:~:text=In%20both%202001%20and%202011,the%201.4%20million%20in%202021.
Remember: this wealthy elite do very well out of you thinking that it’s (unplatformed) immigrants stoking the demand and not them, whose interests are nicely looked after by media empires sowing division between working people below just trying to have enough to get by on.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

And the demand of the super rich needs to be curbed and more quotas for affordable housing enforced.
‘In the last 20 years there has been no region of England where there was a net shortage in dwellings, and every region has seen its surplus building stock grow since 2001’
https://positivemoney.org/2023/01/more-than-building-new-houses/#:~:text=In%20both%202001%20and%202011,the%201.4%20million%20in%202021.
Remember: this wealthy elite do very well out of you thinking that it’s (unplatformed) immigrants stoking the demand and not them, whose interests are nicely looked after by media empires sowing division between working people below just trying to have enough to get by on.

Graeme Cant
Graeme Cant
1 year ago
Reply to  Alice Rowlands

Because it’s almost always cheaper and quicker to build new than to renovate old.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Alice Rowlands

It’s a reasonable idea. There are lots of good ideas in these comments. But the thing that is going to reduce house price inflation the most is reducing demand by reducing immigration numbers.
I think the party wins that moves first on a policy of:
“we will to continue to build 200k new houses a year and we will keep net immigration to 100k a year until a house of your own is affordable for every working British couple.”

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt M
Graeme Cant
Graeme Cant
1 year ago
Reply to  Alice Rowlands

Because it’s almost always cheaper and quicker to build new than to renovate old.

Graeme Cant
Graeme Cant
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

There are no essential workers produced outside the UK that couldn’t be found by training people born in the UK.
Most of the “essential workers” who migrate to the UK are ethnic cooks.

Alice Rowlands
Alice Rowlands
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

I keep reading about all the empty homes going to rack and ruin. Why doesn’t the government compulsory purchase and renovate them and add them to the available housing stock?

Graeme Cant
Graeme Cant
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

There are no essential workers produced outside the UK that couldn’t be found by training people born in the UK.
Most of the “essential workers” who migrate to the UK are ethnic cooks.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  rigby.kevinp

Aren’t they two sides of the same coin?
In 2021 there were 28k more people born in England and Wales than died. If immigration was zero (which I’m not suggesting) we would need to build very few new homes each year to house our population.
Surely we can cap immigration at a sensible number that relieves the strain on housing, public services and infrastructure while still bringing in essential workers.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt M
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Well said Ms Knight. There is hope after all!
“Ever sperm is sacred “ as they say!

rigby.kevinp
rigby.kevinp
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

But is it overpopulation or simply a shortage of accommodation? These people have to live somewhere.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Well said Ms Knight. There is hope after all!
“Ever sperm is sacred “ as they say!

Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Fine- clearly that excess demand (if we believe your figures) does not help the balance, but to say that the problems with housing in the UK is mainly the result of immigrants is ludicrous.
What the author of the article is trying to point out is two key things. 1) there has been a boom in post 1970’s asset prices unseen for centuries, that despite a few nasty corrections has been on a relentless upward path due to the flood of cheap money and financial deregulation. At the same time there has been a brutal subjugation of the bargaining power of labour and hence real wages have stagnated. This is how we come to the situation wherein (as the author points out) in 1980 you had to save your wage for 3 years whereas now you have to save for 19 years! This has nothing to do with immigration. This is a well engineered wealth transfer from labour towards capital.
2) in addition to the above the author points out the deeply unfair lack of regulation of the rental sector. This lack of regulation is what makes buy to let so attractive as it reduces the financial burden imposed on landlords. As a result a whole class of rentiers bids up housing stock, as the profit margins (due to lack of regulations and cheap money) are so attractive. Peter completely misunderstands this point. To say that buy to let is simply taking housing stock and giving it a different owner misunderstands how markets work. All markets involve the change of owner. That is what a market is. But the key point is when there are more people chasing an asset the price of that asset is pushed up. Due to the attractiveness of buy to let as a money making enterprise houses become more expensive than they would have been. Essentially a whole new class of demand for houses is created by making it attractive financially. That is a pure political decision. Taxes and regulation could easily be increased so that buy to let is unattractive. This would remove this artificial class of demand and allow lower prices for people who actually need somewhere to live

Last edited 1 year ago by Alex Colchester
0 0
0 0
1 year ago

I read this article on the same day that the Telegraph had an article suggesting that net migration might reach 1M this year.
Whilst I agree with some of your comments about buy to let – it is inequitable that finance costs receive 20% relief for a BTL owner but not for a ‘normal’ purchase – your comment about  immigrants is ludicrous itself. According to the HoC library nearly 16M people in the UK are either foreign nationals or were born abroad. More pertinently for the author of the article – 37% of the population of London were born outside the UK. Are you seriously suggesting this hasn’t had an impact on the availabilty and cost of housing?

Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
1 year ago
Reply to  0 0

Not at all- as the beginning of my above comment clearly states- it is a factor. But it is far from the main factor. One study from the ministry of housing put it at 20% contribution during a period when house prices had increased 320%. An Oxford study put immigration as the difference between a 10fold increase and a 9fold increase.
it is very telling that amongst these comments anyone who states immigration is the serious cause of house price increases gets many upvotes. But it is a small factor amongst many much more important ones.

Graeme Cant
Graeme Cant
1 year ago

Are you seriously suggesting that a ministry of housing study is going to be honest about the influence of migration on housing?
The ministry of housing is a branch of the same government which under both Left and Right has allowed and encouraged high migration levels since 1945.
Immigration is the MAIN factor. For 70 years.

Graeme Cant
Graeme Cant
1 year ago

Are you seriously suggesting that a ministry of housing study is going to be honest about the influence of migration on housing?
The ministry of housing is a branch of the same government which under both Left and Right has allowed and encouraged high migration levels since 1945.
Immigration is the MAIN factor. For 70 years.

Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
1 year ago
Reply to  0 0

Not at all- as the beginning of my above comment clearly states- it is a factor. But it is far from the main factor. One study from the ministry of housing put it at 20% contribution during a period when house prices had increased 320%. An Oxford study put immigration as the difference between a 10fold increase and a 9fold increase.
it is very telling that amongst these comments anyone who states immigration is the serious cause of house price increases gets many upvotes. But it is a small factor amongst many much more important ones.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago

You clearly have a problem with basic maths.
If we did not have mass immigration into UK, we would not need even 200k houses build every year.
So supply is plenty.
Problem is demand created by 3rd world savages flooding this country.

Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

And you clearly have a problem with basic decency.

Graeme Cant
Graeme Cant
1 year ago

No. His decency is fine. He is fed up to the back teeth with governments which, whoever is elected, have pursued policies of flooding his home with immigrants.

Graeme Cant
Graeme Cant
1 year ago

No. His decency is fine. He is fed up to the back teeth with governments which, whoever is elected, have pursued policies of flooding his home with immigrants.

Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

And you clearly have a problem with basic decency.

Graeme Crosby
Graeme Crosby
1 year ago

Buy to let IS unattractive. Have a quick google of the figures for landlords leaving the market.
Taxation, regulation new EPC demands and the revocation of section 21 just some of the recent changes. Rents are skyrocketing but are still only around 5% return. You can almost get that on deposit now. The government has for many years been making being a landlord unattractive and has finally succeeded.
Watch the rental crisis as it unfolds before your eyes. It’s happening right now.

0 0
0 0
1 year ago

I read this article on the same day that the Telegraph had an article suggesting that net migration might reach 1M this year.
Whilst I agree with some of your comments about buy to let – it is inequitable that finance costs receive 20% relief for a BTL owner but not for a ‘normal’ purchase – your comment about  immigrants is ludicrous itself. According to the HoC library nearly 16M people in the UK are either foreign nationals or were born abroad. More pertinently for the author of the article – 37% of the population of London were born outside the UK. Are you seriously suggesting this hasn’t had an impact on the availabilty and cost of housing?

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago

You clearly have a problem with basic maths.
If we did not have mass immigration into UK, we would not need even 200k houses build every year.
So supply is plenty.
Problem is demand created by 3rd world savages flooding this country.

Graeme Crosby
Graeme Crosby
1 year ago

Buy to let IS unattractive. Have a quick google of the figures for landlords leaving the market.
Taxation, regulation new EPC demands and the revocation of section 21 just some of the recent changes. Rents are skyrocketing but are still only around 5% return. You can almost get that on deposit now. The government has for many years been making being a landlord unattractive and has finally succeeded.
Watch the rental crisis as it unfolds before your eyes. It’s happening right now.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Because woke young and middle age (like the author) believe in mass immigration and multi-culti.
I see this lot in London craft beer bars as staff.
Grads of soft subjects, hoping for career as journalist, scriptwriters or theatre designers.
Reality is, there are not enough jobs like above for number of moronic grads churned out by uk pseudo universities.
And they don’t pay well enough.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

The same moronic soft subject grads who fuel our world-beating arts and entertainments industry that the Tories seem so happy to trash, both through Brexit (and the ridiculous restrictions it places on our touring musicians) and by cutting spending to the arts?

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

The same moronic soft subject grads who fuel our world-beating arts and entertainments industry that the Tories seem so happy to trash, both through Brexit (and the ridiculous restrictions it places on our touring musicians) and by cutting spending to the arts?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Mind boggling indeed but very telling.It’s stil politically incorrect to mention overpopulation as the cause of anything, like global warming for instance. Overpopulation and religions are intertwined, but are the elephants in the room as far as the media goes. Muslims have guilt-tripped people into silence. It’s a religion that’s heavily into control and knows how to use it to silence critics. There is, of course the fear factor of speaking out because you might get killed for so doing. A valid concern.Of course catholicism isn’t much better as far as uncontrolled breeding goes but the younger generation may eased up a bit. Fundamentalism likes to take the bible literally when, way back then, someone supposedly said “go forth and multiply’. So they’re still at it regardless of how unsustainable it makes life on this planet for the rest of us.

Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Fine- clearly that excess demand (if we believe your figures) does not help the balance, but to say that the problems with housing in the UK is mainly the result of immigrants is ludicrous.
What the author of the article is trying to point out is two key things. 1) there has been a boom in post 1970’s asset prices unseen for centuries, that despite a few nasty corrections has been on a relentless upward path due to the flood of cheap money and financial deregulation. At the same time there has been a brutal subjugation of the bargaining power of labour and hence real wages have stagnated. This is how we come to the situation wherein (as the author points out) in 1980 you had to save your wage for 3 years whereas now you have to save for 19 years! This has nothing to do with immigration. This is a well engineered wealth transfer from labour towards capital.
2) in addition to the above the author points out the deeply unfair lack of regulation of the rental sector. This lack of regulation is what makes buy to let so attractive as it reduces the financial burden imposed on landlords. As a result a whole class of rentiers bids up housing stock, as the profit margins (due to lack of regulations and cheap money) are so attractive. Peter completely misunderstands this point. To say that buy to let is simply taking housing stock and giving it a different owner misunderstands how markets work. All markets involve the change of owner. That is what a market is. But the key point is when there are more people chasing an asset the price of that asset is pushed up. Due to the attractiveness of buy to let as a money making enterprise houses become more expensive than they would have been. Essentially a whole new class of demand for houses is created by making it attractive financially. That is a pure political decision. Taxes and regulation could easily be increased so that buy to let is unattractive. This would remove this artificial class of demand and allow lower prices for people who actually need somewhere to live

Last edited 1 year ago by Alex Colchester
Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

Because woke young and middle age (like the author) believe in mass immigration and multi-culti.
I see this lot in London craft beer bars as staff.
Grads of soft subjects, hoping for career as journalist, scriptwriters or theatre designers.
Reality is, there are not enough jobs like above for number of moronic grads churned out by uk pseudo universities.
And they don’t pay well enough.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago

It’s also quite telling that he’s able to write a lengthy article on this topic without once mentioning mass immigration. How can we have a sensible national debate about any aspect of our economy whilst assiduously ignoring an entire herd of elephants in the room?

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

I don’t think we’re disagreeing.
I’ve already acknowledge that this is not a perfectly functioning free market. Ridiculous planning laws and vested interest groups blocking new housing being two prime examples.
But that does not mean that the laws of supply and demand do not apply. Increase demand and prices will go up. Decrease the cost of money (interest rates) and prices will go up. Restrict supply and prices will go up. Allow unlimited “overseas investment” and prices will go up. Tune every government policy to support and inflate house prices. Do all these things and housing becomes unaffordable for ordinary British people.
But these are all choices and could be changed.

Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

But you are talking about a law of supply and demand whilst in the same breath mentioning market distortions. When people refer to laws of supply and demand they are usually implying economics 101 in the context of a free market. However as your comments show you don’t believe the market is free as you have mentioned many factors that have distorted it. You cant represent both points of view at the same time. Either the market is distorted and hence not free and hence the laws of supply and demand are also distorted and hence their ‘laws’ are broken or the market is free (hence without distortion) and you can patronise the author with your ‘when are the young going to learn about the laws of supply and demand’.
Your bad faith (or bad logic) straddling of this point drives me to sigh- ‘when will these boomers realise they can’t have their cake and eat it’

Last edited 1 year ago by Alex Colchester
Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

Nonsense.
As I’ve stated, the law of supply and demand does not need a perfectly free market. They couldn’t even get rid of it in the Warsaw Pact – it just popped up again in the black market when the state economy couldn’t deliver the goods.
I really don’t know what else I can say if you cannot grasp this.
You will be doing the author no favours at all if you wish him to continue in his delusions. If it’s a little upsetting for him to be criticised, that’s nothing compared to be the longer term pain he’ll suffer by not getting these things straight.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter B
Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

But the author isn’t deluded. He understands that prices are primarily fuelled by speculation driven by greed taking advantage of tax breaks, cheap money and a lack of regulation. That’s why there are boom and bust cycles. You have stated that there is a law at play and that increased immigration reduces supply and hence pushes up prices. But you have to be consistent otherwise you are mistaking coincidence for causality. The flip side to your law is that whenever house prices reduce then immigration must also reduce. This is not what the data shows. House prices are more than able to crash with immigration holding steady or even increasing. Why? Because it isn’t a major factor with regard to house prices.
You want the tip of an iceberg to be the entire iceberg because that is all you want to see.

Last edited 1 year ago by Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

But the author isn’t deluded. He understands that prices are primarily fuelled by speculation driven by greed taking advantage of tax breaks, cheap money and a lack of regulation. That’s why there are boom and bust cycles. You have stated that there is a law at play and that increased immigration reduces supply and hence pushes up prices. But you have to be consistent otherwise you are mistaking coincidence for causality. The flip side to your law is that whenever house prices reduce then immigration must also reduce. This is not what the data shows. House prices are more than able to crash with immigration holding steady or even increasing. Why? Because it isn’t a major factor with regard to house prices.
You want the tip of an iceberg to be the entire iceberg because that is all you want to see.

Last edited 1 year ago by Alex Colchester
Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago

You are just another brain dead, woke lefty.
Yes, things you mentioned are relevant but they are just noise in comparison to 500k a year of useless immigrants flooding this country.
AI and robotics are coming in big wave creating huge dislocation and many jobs like Uber drivers disappearing.
I would propose that all the extras now here will regret ever coming in 20 years…

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew F
Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

I wonder if ‘useless immigrant’ is how you’ll refer to the nurse working overtime to look after you when one day you’re dying in the arms of a collapsing NHS

Mike Michaels
Mike Michaels
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

If those animals I see coming in in the boats are looking after me when I’m dying then shoot me now.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Michaels

I won’t berate you for calling them animals because if you can’t in your own heart see how cruel and innacurate a term that is for people escaping wars (often that we’ve helped to create) then there’s no point trying to convince you; then you are one of the last stooges falling for the election propaganda of a party that has nothing left to run on but raw fear of foreigners – the last group, alongside trans people, that they have left to blame for the problems they have caused this country.
If you do get your dream of lower (net zero?) immigration, let’s hope you’re either rich enough for private healthcare or have been campaigning for nurses to get a proper living wage and affordable housing because without that you won’t have any looking after you once the immigration stops.

Last edited 1 year ago by Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Michaels

I won’t berate you for calling them animals because if you can’t in your own heart see how cruel and innacurate a term that is for people escaping wars (often that we’ve helped to create) then there’s no point trying to convince you; then you are one of the last stooges falling for the election propaganda of a party that has nothing left to run on but raw fear of foreigners – the last group, alongside trans people, that they have left to blame for the problems they have caused this country.
If you do get your dream of lower (net zero?) immigration, let’s hope you’re either rich enough for private healthcare or have been campaigning for nurses to get a proper living wage and affordable housing because without that you won’t have any looking after you once the immigration stops.

Last edited 1 year ago by Desmond Wolf
Mike Michaels
Mike Michaels
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

If those animals I see coming in in the boats are looking after me when I’m dying then shoot me now.

Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

It has nothing to do with being woke or lefty. If you really believe that impoverished immigrants have the means to bid up the price of some of the most expensive real estate on earth, then you clearly haven’t tried to buy a house recently. And when house prices crash as they do from time to time is that because suddenly all the immigrants have departed? Of course not. Speculative bubbles have very little to do with fundamental figures such as immigration, and everything to do with the flows of cheap money towards a rentier class spurred on by greed.

Last edited 1 year ago by Alex Colchester
Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago

Precisely. Demand for housing by the wealthy (very much alive and kicking and far from ‘old’ as Matt Goodwin so deceivingly calls them) elite is the biggest driver here. There is no shortage of housing. It is also a distribution problem caused by an insufficently regulated industry that builds for the highest bidder not those most in need. There are *more* houses than households in Britain! A fact far more people need to be aware of.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago

Precisely. Demand for housing by the wealthy (very much alive and kicking and far from ‘old’ as Matt Goodwin so deceivingly calls them) elite is the biggest driver here. There is no shortage of housing. It is also a distribution problem caused by an insufficently regulated industry that builds for the highest bidder not those most in need. There are *more* houses than households in Britain! A fact far more people need to be aware of.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

I wonder if ‘useless immigrant’ is how you’ll refer to the nurse working overtime to look after you when one day you’re dying in the arms of a collapsing NHS

Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

It has nothing to do with being woke or lefty. If you really believe that impoverished immigrants have the means to bid up the price of some of the most expensive real estate on earth, then you clearly haven’t tried to buy a house recently. And when house prices crash as they do from time to time is that because suddenly all the immigrants have departed? Of course not. Speculative bubbles have very little to do with fundamental figures such as immigration, and everything to do with the flows of cheap money towards a rentier class spurred on by greed.

Last edited 1 year ago by Alex Colchester
Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

Nonsense.
As I’ve stated, the law of supply and demand does not need a perfectly free market. They couldn’t even get rid of it in the Warsaw Pact – it just popped up again in the black market when the state economy couldn’t deliver the goods.
I really don’t know what else I can say if you cannot grasp this.
You will be doing the author no favours at all if you wish him to continue in his delusions. If it’s a little upsetting for him to be criticised, that’s nothing compared to be the longer term pain he’ll suffer by not getting these things straight.

Last edited 1 year ago by Peter B
Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago

You are just another brain dead, woke lefty.
Yes, things you mentioned are relevant but they are just noise in comparison to 500k a year of useless immigrants flooding this country.
AI and robotics are coming in big wave creating huge dislocation and many jobs like Uber drivers disappearing.
I would propose that all the extras now here will regret ever coming in 20 years…

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew F
Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

But you are talking about a law of supply and demand whilst in the same breath mentioning market distortions. When people refer to laws of supply and demand they are usually implying economics 101 in the context of a free market. However as your comments show you don’t believe the market is free as you have mentioned many factors that have distorted it. You cant represent both points of view at the same time. Either the market is distorted and hence not free and hence the laws of supply and demand are also distorted and hence their ‘laws’ are broken or the market is free (hence without distortion) and you can patronise the author with your ‘when are the young going to learn about the laws of supply and demand’.
Your bad faith (or bad logic) straddling of this point drives me to sigh- ‘when will these boomers realise they can’t have their cake and eat it’

Last edited 1 year ago by Alex Colchester
Mark Goodhand
Mark Goodhand
1 year ago

The laws of supply and demand that you feel are so obvious, imply that you feel the market is a free one.

That’s a non sequitur.
The law of supply and demand is about as well established as the laws of gravity.
Whether our housing market is free is a separate question, with an obvious answer.
Supply hasn’t been allowed to rise to meet demand, thanks to planning restrictions.
Demand has been artificially inflated by uncontrolled immigration.
Demand was artificially inflated by the ultra-low interest rates that accompanied rampant money printing.
Demand has been artificially inflated by help-to-buy schemes.
Family breakdown and disincentive to downsize have made the situation worse.
And for a long time the tax system favoured buy-to-let.
Lots of shenanigans, as you say.
But the only way we’re going to get housing costs reasonable again is to restore balance between supply and demand, and unless we somehow lose millions of people, that means we’ll have to start building more.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago

I think Peter is saying when you have massive demand (500k immigrants a year) and low supply (200k new dwellings built a year) that law of supply and demand dictates prices will go up.

The law remains constant. You can either increase supply (notoriously difficult because people vigorously oppose new development near them) or reduce demand (possible now we are out of the EU but still the government resists capping immigration at a sensible level). I would suggest they cap total net immigration at half the number of new dwellings completed in the previous year. So the 2023 cap would be 115k – which is still a lot of foreign workers.

That the author of the article doesn’t mention immigration at all is mind-boggling.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt M
Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago

It’s also quite telling that he’s able to write a lengthy article on this topic without once mentioning mass immigration. How can we have a sensible national debate about any aspect of our economy whilst assiduously ignoring an entire herd of elephants in the room?

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

I don’t think we’re disagreeing.
I’ve already acknowledge that this is not a perfectly functioning free market. Ridiculous planning laws and vested interest groups blocking new housing being two prime examples.
But that does not mean that the laws of supply and demand do not apply. Increase demand and prices will go up. Decrease the cost of money (interest rates) and prices will go up. Restrict supply and prices will go up. Allow unlimited “overseas investment” and prices will go up. Tune every government policy to support and inflate house prices. Do all these things and housing becomes unaffordable for ordinary British people.
But these are all choices and could be changed.

Mark Goodhand
Mark Goodhand
1 year ago

The laws of supply and demand that you feel are so obvious, imply that you feel the market is a free one.

That’s a non sequitur.
The law of supply and demand is about as well established as the laws of gravity.
Whether our housing market is free is a separate question, with an obvious answer.
Supply hasn’t been allowed to rise to meet demand, thanks to planning restrictions.
Demand has been artificially inflated by uncontrolled immigration.
Demand was artificially inflated by the ultra-low interest rates that accompanied rampant money printing.
Demand has been artificially inflated by help-to-buy schemes.
Family breakdown and disincentive to downsize have made the situation worse.
And for a long time the tax system favoured buy-to-let.
Lots of shenanigans, as you say.
But the only way we’re going to get housing costs reasonable again is to restore balance between supply and demand, and unless we somehow lose millions of people, that means we’ll have to start building more.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

The tragedy of this is that the writer above will probably vote Labour in the hope that they will do something to fix the problem whereas in fact what they will do is follow to the letter the Blairite policy of artificially inflating house prices in order to buy middle class votes.

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Quite and they will also follow the Blairite policy of continuing to import cheap labour to paper over the cracks of our rotten and disfunctional economy.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

And instead they should vote for?

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Quite and they will also follow the Blairite policy of continuing to import cheap labour to paper over the cracks of our rotten and disfunctional economy.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

And instead they should vote for?

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Yes, that is the elephant in the room.
90% of young people I know in London flatly deny that mass immigration into UK (which they support) has anything to do with house prices.
UK builds about 200k housing units a year.
If immigration is running at 500k a year, there is clear shortage driving prices up.
Still, there is clear unfairness in how market works.
Renters and home owners are paying mortgages out of taxed income.
Whereas property investors get tax breaks (OK, now reduced).
We should stop allowing foreign nationals who are not taxpayers in uk to buy houses.
Countries like Switzerland and Denmark are not allowing free for all.
Housing is not like other investments.
It has serious implications for vialibility of uk long term if young people can not afford to have families.
It is turning this country into rentiers paradise.
Huge majority on this forum are for capitalist system.
But it can not work if majority has no capital, which for most people is housing.
The logical destination of current path is that home owners will become minority.
It is not difficult to imagine that propertless majority would vote for policies to punish house owning minority.
I am mid 60s, childless and property owner.
But society is a compact between generations.
I am not surprised that many young people don’t feel it works.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Despite what you said about immigrants in an earlier comment I agree with much of this. Immigration does seem too high and we need to start paying our own population properly rather than depending on cheap labour. Neither though should we give refugees the cold shoulder. Rather than incentivising them to come here, we should bring jobs to the places where refugees are before they travel to Europe, along the model suggested by the economist Paul Collier. This sounds pie in the sky but has apparently had success in Turkey where hundreds of thousands of jobs have been generated for refugees by German firms.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-bIaIgcBuI

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Despite what you said about immigrants in an earlier comment I agree with much of this. Immigration does seem too high and we need to start paying our own population properly rather than depending on cheap labour. Neither though should we give refugees the cold shoulder. Rather than incentivising them to come here, we should bring jobs to the places where refugees are before they travel to Europe, along the model suggested by the economist Paul Collier. This sounds pie in the sky but has apparently had success in Turkey where hundreds of thousands of jobs have been generated for refugees by German firms.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-bIaIgcBuI

Sam Barkes
Sam Barkes
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

It’s frustrating listening to these people who blame landlords and vote in parties that are pro immigration. Like watching someone step on a rake over and over. We could change all houses to public ownership and it wouldn’t solve anything, there physically isn’t enough houses. Even if we built houses bypassing protests from locals and cut all the corners there’s no way it would keep up with the numbers entering the country.
You aren’t a bad person for reducing the numbers to a sustainable level and putting your needs first.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam Barkes

Speaking as one of those people, I’m with you on the blindness to immigration being part of the problem, bu you’re wrong that changing houses to public ownership would not solve the problem – think of all the money we’d bring into the public purse from the rent of all those productive immigrants in public housing! ‘Physically not enough houses’ is also plain wrong – there are actually more houses than households in the UK because (as with any insufficiently regulated market) the housing market is one that serves demand rather than need (developers are catering to the super rich who want to hoard their money inton assets, rather than poor working families who need them). That fact alone shows that developers and speculators are indeed at least as much a part of the problem as immigrants (who at least are productive)

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam Barkes

Speaking as one of those people, I’m with you on the blindness to immigration being part of the problem, bu you’re wrong that changing houses to public ownership would not solve the problem – think of all the money we’d bring into the public purse from the rent of all those productive immigrants in public housing! ‘Physically not enough houses’ is also plain wrong – there are actually more houses than households in the UK because (as with any insufficiently regulated market) the housing market is one that serves demand rather than need (developers are catering to the super rich who want to hoard their money inton assets, rather than poor working families who need them). That fact alone shows that developers and speculators are indeed at least as much a part of the problem as immigrants (who at least are productive)

David Barnett
David Barnett
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

The boom in property prices, and how they have accelerated past the wage market which they used to track, has a lot to do with the manipulation of the financial markets and the outsourcing of manufacturing to low-wage economies.
Money creation and years of artificially low interest rates (and credit access thereto available to a few privileged players) pushed up asset prices, while cheap foreign imports created the illusion of “low” inflation at the retail level. Low retail inflation “justified” low wage inflation, while asset prices soared. That is why getting on the house-ownership ladder became more difficult.
Matters have not been helped by ever more costly regulatory burdens placed on landlords and which disproportionately penalise small landlords. As a result, many small landlords are quitting the market, reducing supply competition.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Spot on. The London commuter town I live in has grown hugely in the 20 years I’ve lived here. We are building a lot of houses, but can’t keep pace with the influx.

I’d also query whether being unable to afford a flat of your own after 17 years in the job market doesn’t say more about career progression than housing.

Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

The laws of supply and demand that you feel are so obvious, imply that you feel the market is a free one. It has been the absolute imperative of a succession of governments (here in the Uk and as you correctly point out in other countries) to artificially keep house prices high through a multitude of shenanigans. Why? because then the asset owners will vote for them.
There is nothing free market about this, and hence appealing to the ‘law’ of supply and demand is nonsensical.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

The tragedy of this is that the writer above will probably vote Labour in the hope that they will do something to fix the problem whereas in fact what they will do is follow to the letter the Blairite policy of artificially inflating house prices in order to buy middle class votes.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

Yes, that is the elephant in the room.
90% of young people I know in London flatly deny that mass immigration into UK (which they support) has anything to do with house prices.
UK builds about 200k housing units a year.
If immigration is running at 500k a year, there is clear shortage driving prices up.
Still, there is clear unfairness in how market works.
Renters and home owners are paying mortgages out of taxed income.
Whereas property investors get tax breaks (OK, now reduced).
We should stop allowing foreign nationals who are not taxpayers in uk to buy houses.
Countries like Switzerland and Denmark are not allowing free for all.
Housing is not like other investments.
It has serious implications for vialibility of uk long term if young people can not afford to have families.
It is turning this country into rentiers paradise.
Huge majority on this forum are for capitalist system.
But it can not work if majority has no capital, which for most people is housing.
The logical destination of current path is that home owners will become minority.
It is not difficult to imagine that propertless majority would vote for policies to punish house owning minority.
I am mid 60s, childless and property owner.
But society is a compact between generations.
I am not surprised that many young people don’t feel it works.

Sam Barkes
Sam Barkes
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

It’s frustrating listening to these people who blame landlords and vote in parties that are pro immigration. Like watching someone step on a rake over and over. We could change all houses to public ownership and it wouldn’t solve anything, there physically isn’t enough houses. Even if we built houses bypassing protests from locals and cut all the corners there’s no way it would keep up with the numbers entering the country.
You aren’t a bad person for reducing the numbers to a sustainable level and putting your needs first.

David Barnett
David Barnett
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

The boom in property prices, and how they have accelerated past the wage market which they used to track, has a lot to do with the manipulation of the financial markets and the outsourcing of manufacturing to low-wage economies.
Money creation and years of artificially low interest rates (and credit access thereto available to a few privileged players) pushed up asset prices, while cheap foreign imports created the illusion of “low” inflation at the retail level. Low retail inflation “justified” low wage inflation, while asset prices soared. That is why getting on the house-ownership ladder became more difficult.
Matters have not been helped by ever more costly regulatory burdens placed on landlords and which disproportionately penalise small landlords. As a result, many small landlords are quitting the market, reducing supply competition.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago

So much wrong with this article.
Yes, unaffordable housing in the UK is a disaster, both immediately for younger people and for all of us eventually. But there is little unique about the UK here – this is all across the developed world.
But we won’t get anywhere if the recalled “facts” and analysis are so wide of the mark.
Right to Buy is not the reason for high house prices. House prices are ridiculously high in countries where there was no right to buy.
But to Let does not of itself affect the housing stock. It just changes the ownership. I’m surprised this needs saying. In a normal market, the increased demand it indicates would also increase supply. But UK housing isn’t a normal market.
People with mortgages face similar risks of eviction/repossion as renters. Entirely possible we’re heading for an early 90s style rise in repossessions – there are certainly a lot of people on interest only mortgages with no obvious means to repay their enornmous loans. Those who felt obliged to buy into a grossly inflated housing market may be just as much victims as renters. That’s happened before.
The reason we tolerate all this is not because “the system is working so well for a privileged few”. It’s because it’s believed (incorrectly in my view) to be working well for a majority of those who get off their backsides and vote.
Rent controls simply don’t work. Enough evidence from around the world here. Further experiments are uneccesary and won’t help.
Finally, the elephant in the room. No mention at all of the effect of an increasing population on the demand for housing – and the consequent inflation of housing prices – both for renters and those who buy houses.
When are these young people going to learn about the law of supply and demand ? It’s hardly rocket science.
There’s an important article to be written here on housing and the appalling impact this must be having on young people. But sadly, this isn’t it.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago

Writer (notoriously poorly-paid job) lives in London (notoriously expensive city) pens book about his wacky and unorthodox lifestyle then complains he can’t afford a mortgage. Look, if you want to be a freewheeling bohemian journo living on the edge, that’s really cool. I get it. On the other hand, you can’t hit thirty-five, realise you’ve made some economically suboptimal lifestyle choices then whine about the iniquity of late capitalism (but not poorly-managed immigration, but I suppose that wouldn’t go down well with your mates at ‘Vice’). Curiously, though, the ‘Deano’ class your journalistic contemporaries look down their coke-dusted snouts at seem to have successfully negotiated the property ladder.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

‘Coke dusted snouts’!! Love it.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Ok… and the teachers and nurses also struggling to live in London?

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Oh, I’m all for key worker schemes. 100%. Until George Osborne killed them off, I knew several people working in key jobs getting their foot on the ladder via right-to-buy / shared ownership etc.

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

Oh, I’m all for key worker schemes. 100%. Until George Osborne killed them off, I knew several people working in key jobs getting their foot on the ladder via right-to-buy / shared ownership etc.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

‘Coke dusted snouts’!! Love it.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

Ok… and the teachers and nurses also struggling to live in London?

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago

Writer (notoriously poorly-paid job) lives in London (notoriously expensive city) pens book about his wacky and unorthodox lifestyle then complains he can’t afford a mortgage. Look, if you want to be a freewheeling bohemian journo living on the edge, that’s really cool. I get it. On the other hand, you can’t hit thirty-five, realise you’ve made some economically suboptimal lifestyle choices then whine about the iniquity of late capitalism (but not poorly-managed immigration, but I suppose that wouldn’t go down well with your mates at ‘Vice’). Curiously, though, the ‘Deano’ class your journalistic contemporaries look down their coke-dusted snouts at seem to have successfully negotiated the property ladder.

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
1 year ago

annual housing MOTs written into law and adhered to before a landlord can raise rent — which should be capped, by the way. 

Sure. I managed to buy a house which I have paid for, and which I completely own. I’m retired, and acknowledge that it was a lot easier for me (starting out in 1986) than it is for young people today. But I often came close to not being able to pay the mortgage, and never had a lot of cash left over. Holidays were few and far between.
Today, we live in a house that’s tied to my wife’s job, so we rent out the house that we own. The first tenants completely trashed the place – Victorian sash windows completely knocked out of the wall, etc. – and this was extremely stressful, involving legal threats, the agent saying there was very little we could do if they chose to stop paying rent and squatted there, and so on. Every year the regulations to do with carbon monoxide detectors, insulation, wiring, and gas checks seem to increase. Despite a rent review increasing the rent by a small amount every year, this has never kept up with inflation. We choose to have agents looking after the property because the alternative is that tenants could ring me up in the small hours to fix a leak, but there is the unavoidable nagging suspicion that the agent bungs unnecessary work to his favoured sub-contractors. I’ve lost count of the number of times the tenant has blocked the toilet and the same plumbing firm has made ninety quid out of it. So it’s quite a lot of stress for very little money.
If things were made any more difficult for us with “MOT”s, further regulations, and a rent cap, I’d stop renting it out and just store my tools and surplus books there. The single mum who lives there could look elsewhere for accommodation. That would be a great pity, but at least then I wouldn’t be scum.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

It is indeed absurd that you need to collect so many licences to rent out a property. Most of these are checks which are uneccessary in your own home – which implies that you’re own home is “unsafe”. Only it isn’t … .
There is no limit to government’s inclination to interfere and make things which were simple and cheap complex and expensive. These excess “safety costs” are not only on rental housing. They are also on cars and many other things. A car equipped with ESP (some electronic stability control feature which is now mandatory) will fail an MOT if this does not work. Yet it’s a feature I’ve never used or needed in around 20 years of driving since it was introduced.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

So you essentially want to run a business by charging young families to use the “service” you provide (in this case accommodation) but you don’t want to have to adhere to any government regulations around health and safety on the product you supply to your customers the same as any other industry has to?

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I don’t think he’s saying that though. Like many people, he’s an accidental landlord (by circumstance rather than choice). As I once was.
He’s happy for his unused property to be used to house someone else. He’s providing a service that he’s not obliged to.
If his home is sufficiently safe for him and his wife to live in, why should he need to spend hundreds of pounds *every year* getting certifications and licences to “prove” it ? These constraints are quite recent – things were running pretty well without them and they are certainly not required in your own home. All these regulations – and they keep increasing every year – really do is create a reliable income stream for a small army of people who tick the boxes and issue the certificates. And – more importantly – push up the cost of housing for renters. And tend to reduce the supply of rental property.
Some regulation is indeed necessary. But it’s gone way too far here.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

My kitchen is perfectly safe for me and my wife, but if I want to use to to sell food as a business then I have to adhere to much more stringent health and safety guidelines. If you want to run a business, which is what landlords often claim to be doing, then you have obligations towards the wellbeing of your customers

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter B

My kitchen is perfectly safe for me and my wife, but if I want to use to to sell food as a business then I have to adhere to much more stringent health and safety guidelines. If you want to run a business, which is what landlords often claim to be doing, then you have obligations towards the wellbeing of your customers

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

No, I’m merely pointing out that the increasing list of government regulations, along with the tax taken from the income, and the necessity of paying an agent, and the frequent periods of stress involved when a stranger has de facto possession of your largest financial asset, makes it a game hardly worth the candle.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

If it’s not worth it then sell up and do something else. You owning that house prevents a young family from owning a family home of their own. You’re essentially making people buy you a second house and then complaining that you have to prove that it’s habitable? My heart bleeds!

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

No, I won’t sell up, thanks, as it’s a good investment. Me owning that house prevents nobody from owning anything; no housebuilder ever refrained from increasing the housing stock because of my Victorian terraced house. I’m not making people buy me a second house – where did this come from? Nor am I complaining that I have to prove it’s habitable. I’m merely saying that with increasing overheads, I’m not making very much money for the headaches I endure over it.

Amanda Elliott
Amanda Elliott
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The single mother of two children who rents my property can’t buy that house. Instead we work together to make a home for her to live in. I wouldn’t swap her as a tenant. But as Simon points out the regulation goes too far.

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

No, I won’t sell up, thanks, as it’s a good investment. Me owning that house prevents nobody from owning anything; no housebuilder ever refrained from increasing the housing stock because of my Victorian terraced house. I’m not making people buy me a second house – where did this come from? Nor am I complaining that I have to prove it’s habitable. I’m merely saying that with increasing overheads, I’m not making very much money for the headaches I endure over it.

Amanda Elliott
Amanda Elliott
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The single mother of two children who rents my property can’t buy that house. Instead we work together to make a home for her to live in. I wouldn’t swap her as a tenant. But as Simon points out the regulation goes too far.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

If it’s not worth it then sell up and do something else. You owning that house prevents a young family from owning a family home of their own. You’re essentially making people buy you a second house and then complaining that you have to prove that it’s habitable? My heart bleeds!

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I don’t think he’s saying that though. Like many people, he’s an accidental landlord (by circumstance rather than choice). As I once was.
He’s happy for his unused property to be used to house someone else. He’s providing a service that he’s not obliged to.
If his home is sufficiently safe for him and his wife to live in, why should he need to spend hundreds of pounds *every year* getting certifications and licences to “prove” it ? These constraints are quite recent – things were running pretty well without them and they are certainly not required in your own home. All these regulations – and they keep increasing every year – really do is create a reliable income stream for a small army of people who tick the boxes and issue the certificates. And – more importantly – push up the cost of housing for renters. And tend to reduce the supply of rental property.
Some regulation is indeed necessary. But it’s gone way too far here.

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

No, I’m merely pointing out that the increasing list of government regulations, along with the tax taken from the income, and the necessity of paying an agent, and the frequent periods of stress involved when a stranger has de facto possession of your largest financial asset, makes it a game hardly worth the candle.

Peter B
Peter B
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

It is indeed absurd that you need to collect so many licences to rent out a property. Most of these are checks which are uneccessary in your own home – which implies that you’re own home is “unsafe”. Only it isn’t … .
There is no limit to government’s inclination to interfere and make things which were simple and cheap complex and expensive. These excess “safety costs” are not only on rental housing. They are also on cars and many other things. A car equipped with ESP (some electronic stability control feature which is now mandatory) will fail an MOT if this does not work. Yet it’s a feature I’ve never used or needed in around 20 years of driving since it was introduced.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

So you essentially want to run a business by charging young families to use the “service” you provide (in this case accommodation) but you don’t want to have to adhere to any government regulations around health and safety on the product you supply to your customers the same as any other industry has to?

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
1 year ago

annual housing MOTs written into law and adhered to before a landlord can raise rent — which should be capped, by the way. 

Sure. I managed to buy a house which I have paid for, and which I completely own. I’m retired, and acknowledge that it was a lot easier for me (starting out in 1986) than it is for young people today. But I often came close to not being able to pay the mortgage, and never had a lot of cash left over. Holidays were few and far between.
Today, we live in a house that’s tied to my wife’s job, so we rent out the house that we own. The first tenants completely trashed the place – Victorian sash windows completely knocked out of the wall, etc. – and this was extremely stressful, involving legal threats, the agent saying there was very little we could do if they chose to stop paying rent and squatted there, and so on. Every year the regulations to do with carbon monoxide detectors, insulation, wiring, and gas checks seem to increase. Despite a rent review increasing the rent by a small amount every year, this has never kept up with inflation. We choose to have agents looking after the property because the alternative is that tenants could ring me up in the small hours to fix a leak, but there is the unavoidable nagging suspicion that the agent bungs unnecessary work to his favoured sub-contractors. I’ve lost count of the number of times the tenant has blocked the toilet and the same plumbing firm has made ninety quid out of it. So it’s quite a lot of stress for very little money.
If things were made any more difficult for us with “MOT”s, further regulations, and a rent cap, I’d stop renting it out and just store my tools and surplus books there. The single mum who lives there could look elsewhere for accommodation. That would be a great pity, but at least then I wouldn’t be scum.

Susan Grabston
Susan Grabston
1 year ago

1. Cut immigration
2. Build new garden cites

Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
1 year ago
Reply to  Susan Grabston

Exactly. Price too high? 1. reduce demand, 2. increase supply.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Susan Grabston

It amazes me that no political party has that at the centre of its manifesto.
A house for every British family sounds like an election winner to me.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt M
Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

The devilish details would include building more family houses. And then the question of : Where?
And the protests would start immediately a location is announced.

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt M

The devilish details would include building more family houses. And then the question of : Where?
And the protests would start immediately a location is announced.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Susan Grabston

Remove illegals already here, probably 3 millions at least.
That would need some balls and persuasion.
Like in “you don’t want to go back, darling?”
What about being dropped from a plane over Atlantic or Mama Africa, then?

Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
1 year ago
Reply to  Susan Grabston

Exactly. Price too high? 1. reduce demand, 2. increase supply.

Matt M
Matt M
1 year ago
Reply to  Susan Grabston

It amazes me that no political party has that at the centre of its manifesto.
A house for every British family sounds like an election winner to me.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt M
Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Susan Grabston

Remove illegals already here, probably 3 millions at least.
That would need some balls and persuasion.
Like in “you don’t want to go back, darling?”
What about being dropped from a plane over Atlantic or Mama Africa, then?

Susan Grabston
Susan Grabston
1 year ago

1. Cut immigration
2. Build new garden cites

Jake Prior
Jake Prior
1 year ago

Beyond the content, a very badly written article that made it a little hard to read. Don’t inexperienced author’s like this get help from an editor? I’m sure living like this is no fun in many ways and the author has my sympathy. I’m not convinced of the solutions offered though. Regarding the fabled German rental market, is the fact the German population has increased by 2.5% in the last 30 years against our 14% not even worth a mention?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Jake Prior

Certainly an important point.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Jake Prior

Of course not.
We need more members of vibrant communities of rapists, terrorists and drug dealers.
Just look at NHS nurses of certain background.
Most of them would struggle to wipe off their oversized asses, never mind doing any meaningful work.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Wow you’re quite the charmer tonight aren’t you. And I suppose blessed are the landlords and major shareholders who actually do do nothing for their money? Rather than these good for nothing nurses whose laziness I assume you have well documented evidence for?

Amanda Elliott
Amanda Elliott
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

‘Landlords who do nothing for their money’. The rental market is quite heavily regulated, renting is the only business where loan interest is not fully deductible. Granted there are a subset of landlords who are greedy and leave their properties in a terrible state but only in the same way there are cowboy builders, dodgy car mechanics etc etc. Landlords provided a service to renters, it is only because in this country we seem to think that home ownership is the prize to be chased – why, so you can have the property stripped from under you in care home fees?? Rather than vilify private landlords recognise them for what they could be – a source of rental housing for those that need it whilst having the good investment sense to tie up their capital in a profitable asset class. Sounds like business to me.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Amanda Elliott

Cowboy builders and dodgy car mechanics at least provide a service with their *labour*. Not so for someone who is just giving access to an asset whilst doing near to no work apart from perhaps checking whether your money has come into their bank account. ‘A source of rental housing for those that need it’ is what they are *not* to all those people priced out of the private rented sector. We need an expansion of public housing and a government that is not afraid to stand up to the interests which have so long prevented the Tories from making any headway in this area, as Roger Scruton pointed out in his conversation with Douglas Murray on Conservatism for the Spectator (natually Murray was careful to not follow up on this point, the Spectator being as close to Downing Street as it is)

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Amanda Elliott

Cowboy builders and dodgy car mechanics at least provide a service with their *labour*. Not so for someone who is just giving access to an asset whilst doing near to no work apart from perhaps checking whether your money has come into their bank account. ‘A source of rental housing for those that need it’ is what they are *not* to all those people priced out of the private rented sector. We need an expansion of public housing and a government that is not afraid to stand up to the interests which have so long prevented the Tories from making any headway in this area, as Roger Scruton pointed out in his conversation with Douglas Murray on Conservatism for the Spectator (natually Murray was careful to not follow up on this point, the Spectator being as close to Downing Street as it is)

Amanda Elliott
Amanda Elliott
1 year ago
Reply to  Desmond Wolf

‘Landlords who do nothing for their money’. The rental market is quite heavily regulated, renting is the only business where loan interest is not fully deductible. Granted there are a subset of landlords who are greedy and leave their properties in a terrible state but only in the same way there are cowboy builders, dodgy car mechanics etc etc. Landlords provided a service to renters, it is only because in this country we seem to think that home ownership is the prize to be chased – why, so you can have the property stripped from under you in care home fees?? Rather than vilify private landlords recognise them for what they could be – a source of rental housing for those that need it whilst having the good investment sense to tie up their capital in a profitable asset class. Sounds like business to me.

Desmond Wolf
Desmond Wolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Wow you’re quite the charmer tonight aren’t you. And I suppose blessed are the landlords and major shareholders who actually do do nothing for their money? Rather than these good for nothing nurses whose laziness I assume you have well documented evidence for?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Jake Prior

Certainly an important point.

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Jake Prior

Of course not.
We need more members of vibrant communities of rapists, terrorists and drug dealers.
Just look at NHS nurses of certain background.
Most of them would struggle to wipe off their oversized asses, never mind doing any meaningful work.

Jake Prior
Jake Prior
1 year ago

Beyond the content, a very badly written article that made it a little hard to read. Don’t inexperienced author’s like this get help from an editor? I’m sure living like this is no fun in many ways and the author has my sympathy. I’m not convinced of the solutions offered though. Regarding the fabled German rental market, is the fact the German population has increased by 2.5% in the last 30 years against our 14% not even worth a mention?

Andrew Stoll
Andrew Stoll
1 year ago

The population of the UK increased by approximately 3.7 million  (5.9%) during the last decade – with a similar or even higher rate of growth expected for the next decade
The average per year of new buildings completed in the UK was approximately 200,000
That’s 2 million new houses and flats for an additional population of 3.7 million with supply and demand in areas of greater economic activity being lower and higher, respectively.
Fewer people or more houses are the only two possible solutions to the problem! But considering the pressures on the environment, climate change etc., there really is only one solution…
Unfortunately for nature and tragically for many people, this is not happening!

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Stoll

Anyone with half a brain can see it.
But not woke lefties and net zero green blob…

Andrew F
Andrew F
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Stoll

Anyone with half a brain can see it.
But not woke lefties and net zero green blob…

Andrew Stoll
Andrew Stoll
1 year ago

The population of the UK increased by approximately 3.7 million  (5.9%) during the last decade – with a similar or even higher rate of growth expected for the next decade
The average per year of new buildings completed in the UK was approximately 200,000
That’s 2 million new houses and flats for an additional population of 3.7 million with supply and demand in areas of greater economic activity being lower and higher, respectively.
Fewer people or more houses are the only two possible solutions to the problem! But considering the pressures on the environment, climate change etc., there really is only one solution…
Unfortunately for nature and tragically for many people, this is not happening!

Philip Gowland
Philip Gowland
1 year ago

Not a single mention of Immigration. Infrastructure cannot keep pace with a million migrants a year, nor should it have to. Massively increased demand on not the supply to cover it.

Josie Bowen
Josie Bowen
1 year ago
Reply to  Philip Gowland

On the island of Jersey, only Jersies can own their own homes, or at the very least, it’s made very difficult to purchase a home. It’s something that could be tried in England. Also, on the subject of migrants, the obvious attractions could be taken away, like education after 17 years old; children’s allowance for more than two children; other benefits which I’m sure others could add on. No right to vote, more difficult to gain citizenship, etc. As the dogs in the street know, many migrants are not fleeing war or famine or climate change, but they are economic migrants. We can end up in a situation where citizens are renting, paying tax, saving for a mortgage, having children before it’s too late, growing out of their apartment and on the other hand, immigrants getting housed by the council and then sending their children to expensive schools with the money they’ve saved in the process.

Josie Bowen
Josie Bowen
1 year ago
Reply to  Philip Gowland

On the island of Jersey, only Jersies can own their own homes, or at the very least, it’s made very difficult to purchase a home. It’s something that could be tried in England. Also, on the subject of migrants, the obvious attractions could be taken away, like education after 17 years old; children’s allowance for more than two children; other benefits which I’m sure others could add on. No right to vote, more difficult to gain citizenship, etc. As the dogs in the street know, many migrants are not fleeing war or famine or climate change, but they are economic migrants. We can end up in a situation where citizens are renting, paying tax, saving for a mortgage, having children before it’s too late, growing out of their apartment and on the other hand, immigrants getting housed by the council and then sending their children to expensive schools with the money they’ve saved in the process.

Philip Gowland
Philip Gowland
1 year ago

Not a single mention of Immigration. Infrastructure cannot keep pace with a million migrants a year, nor should it have to. Massively increased demand on not the supply to cover it.

Michael W
Michael W
1 year ago

With the report that the Tories have increased net immigration again to 700k things are going to keep getting much worse. When hear the housing crisis debated they only ask why can’t we build more homes, not why do we have to build more homes?

Michael W