A HOME FOR EVERYONE?
How do we reverse the steep decline in home ownership?
The number one recommendation of our manifesto for the British Conservative party is to build a lot more homes. On last night's Newsnight programme on BBC2 Evan Davis set out how you could build 500,000 new homes:
Mr Davis was speaking after Green leader Natalie Bennett had failed to explain how she would implement her party's manifesto commitment on housebuilding. This blogpost from Mark Wadsworth is also worth reading. Once reduced housing benefit costs are taken into account, Mark is convinced a housebuilding policy would be profitable for the State.
New figures released today - and analysed on the Shelter blog - confirm how home ownership within the UK is in steep decline and is now at its lowest level in nearly three decades.
The graph below captures the trends:
Young people are particularly badly affected:
Conservatives need to do something urgently to reverse the decline in home ownership. Margaret Thatcher was correct to introduce the right-to-buy. It gave people a stake in society and independence from the State.
Where the Tories failed in the 1980s (and since) was to not carry on building new social housing on the scale that previous Tory prime ministers had delivered.
This chart of the post-war housebuilding clearly demonstrates that the private sector has kept building. It's the decline in State housebuilding that has restricted supply and helped fuel house price inflation:
On CapX earlier today I explained why it was essential for The Good Right to address this:
"Government might not need to build houses directly – the model might be Ebbsfleet where taxpayers are underwriting the infrastructure for a new town. What is most important for Right-wing fundamentalists to consider, however, is that the choice isn't intervention or non-intervention. The real world choice is between wise intervention (build houses now and make a profit from the Right-to-Buy in the years to come) versus everlasting intervention (pay private landlords ever greater sums and fail to address the collapse in housebuilding that is causing the problem in the first place)."