Back in 1970, the average property cost about £4,800. Factoring inflation, it means that had there not been any increase in the value, the same home would cost £60,000 today.
Except of course a typical home in the UK costs an awful lot more than that. Almost five times as much, the value of the typical home today is around £290,000.
Mortgage rates having rocketed over the last 18 months – and yesterday’s news from the Bank of England showed a contracting economy with rising unemployment. And yet even with this as the context, house prices have only marginally sunk over the past year in response: it’s no wonder that the discussion of our country’s broken housing market has intensified.
There is abundant evidence for how broken the situation is but perhaps the most telling statistic of all is that the rate of home ownership among young people has halved in the past four decades. This should worry us all, as it affects not just the younger people in the country.
So what to suggest instead? Below is what several housing experts say the Government needs to do in order to mend a broken housing system, and make homes truly affordable again.
1. More supply needed – reform planning and build more council homes
“Without increasing housing supply, anything else is tinkering round the edges”, said Lucian Cook, research director at Savills estate agency.
The desire to build more homes is a common political ambition. The Conservative manifesto in 2019 targeted 300,000 a year by the middle of the decade, and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer matched this at the party’s recent conference.
The Conservative Government has not achieved this target, managing to build just over 210,000 news homes in the year up to March, though the weakening housing market and inflation is not