Briefing: At any cost? The case for stable house prices in England

By: Pete Jefferys  Published: October 2013


Home ownership is still the dream for the majority of families, but the chances of achieving it will be vastly reduced if house prices keep inflating as they have in the past. Recent polling suggests people understand this problem and that the majority now want an era of stable house prices. More than anything, we need political leadership. Politicians have the tools to stabilise house prices, and other countries such as Germany show that stable house prices can be part of a successful economy. It is time for an era of stable house prices.

Summary

Many families on typical incomes are already priced out of home ownership. Recent research by Shelter showed that it would take the average family 12 years to save up for the deposit on a home of their own.

Some young people are fortunate and can rely on financial help from their parents – the Bank of Mum and Dad last year forked out a staggering £2 billion in support for first time buyers – but most young people can’t rely on this kind of assistance. As a result, home ownership among young families on normal incomes is falling precipitously, and has been since well before the financial crisis began.

With the chances of home ownership declining for families on normal incomes it is no wonder that recent surveys show that the majority of voters (66%) do not want house prices to rise – they would rather see them remain stable, or even fall.

We need an end to the era of unaffordable and rising house prices, if families are to have a chance of owning a home of their own.

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