At last, UK housing makes it to the top of the political agenda and the headlines. Yes we know there’s a hell of a lot going on in the world of late but it is right to be there.
Housing is a basic human right and one that is currently being denied to millions.
The impact of this current catastrophe – the seeds of which were sown over generations – affects every aspect of its victim’s lives. So called Generation Rent and their poorer relation, Generation Still Living With Mum and Dad often delay marriage and starting families.
A generation is being kept artificially juvenile, not experiencing the joys and indeed the responsibilities of owning their personal little piece of Britain. We are yet to see the full consequences that this will have on our communities and society as a whole.
A house, indeed a home is not a luxury item.
Watching the excellent ‘The Island with Bear Grylls’ highlights that after water, shelter is the second most important human requirement. You could have all the food you need but without somewhere warm, dry and safe to enjoy it you would soon be calling for the evacuation boat. So the contestants build as a priority. And so must we.
But Ed, the thing is, with today’s Labour plan to give First Timer’s a Stamp Duty break worth up to £5000 (and at a cost of £225M), you don’t fix the issue, you fuel it.
As with the current Government’s Help to Buy Scheme you don’t create more homes at the rate needed by chucking more money into the system. The only thing that creates is a rise in prices, a rise in mortgage debt and a rise in the likelihood of another crash.
In the meantime the money buyers save on Stamp Duty will find its way into sellers pockets as prices increase.
Only by building tens of thousands of new properties will supply equal demand. Only then will prices naturally adjust to make the chance to own a home accessible to the many, not the few.
Featured image used via Creative Commons 2.0 from Department of Energy and Climate Change