Where’s my cardboard box?

Home is where the heart is, right? If that’s true, my heart lives at HSBC along with my mortgage. If you’re aged between 18 and 30, yours probably does (or will) too.

This morning, Britain’s leading business group said that the country should build another 50,000 cheap homes. Don’t be fooled – they care more about businesses making money than they do about finding you a place to live. But that doesn’t mean they’re wrong.

You’ve probably heard people talk about Britain’s housing crisis. Politicians keep saying things like:

“I think everyone has the right to live somewhere that is not just affordable but that is beautiful and has some green space nearby… [This is] a basic moral right, like healthcare and education.” PLANNING MINISTER NICK BOLES

And:

“Look – it’s OK for my generation. Many of us have got on the ladder. But you know the average age that someone buys their first home today, without any help from their parents? 33 years old.” PRIME MINISTER DAVID CAMERON

The problem is actually quite simple: if there are more people wanting houses than there are places to live, prices will keep going up. In 2004, the economist Kate Barker released a report which said that the UK has to build around 240,000 houses per year if it wants to stop prices rising more than 1.1 per cent a year.

But here’s the reality:

Untitled

Sources: ONS & DCLG

Another report commissioned by the housing charity Shelter said last year that the housing system in the UK is so messed up that it may never be able to supply enough homes.

The current ruling Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition has made some effort at reform. Chancellor George Osborne is all set to announce the 2013 government budget next week (March 20) and he is expected to extend the NewBuy scheme, which allows first-time buyers to get on the housing ladder with just a 5 per cent deposit.

With the average house price in the UK at £238,000, that’s a mere £12,000 you’ll have to stump up to get your first grotty studio flat. Small change. Thanks George.

One thought on “Where’s my cardboard box?

  1. Pingback: The “aspiration nation” |

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