Halifax have published a great little fact sheet on some key housing trends over the last 50 years. The most dramatic is that the cost of buying a home has risen 273% above incomes over that period, with the sharpest rise during the 2000s when they rose by 63%.
This is the increasing cost of housing adjusted for increases in income; or adjusting for inflation to state rises in real terms, for economists. Imagine if food or heating bills rose that quickly compared to incomes!
Whilst the property-owning journalists hail this rise in house prices, more and more people are squeezed out of the market, or forced to sacrifice huge chunks of their salary to repay mortgages.
Jenny Jones published a report on the housing crisis in London recently. She shows that over the past decade the cost of buying a home doubled in London, well above the national rise of 63%. This makes the misleading boasts of our Tory Mayor – as he fails to even meet his own modest housing targets – all the more sickening.
Unless we double the number of homes we build, which is pretty unlikely, or we make a radical shift away from home ownership, this trend is set to continue for another decade. But our Labour government and this Tory Mayor are both committed to mostly building homes we have to buy, with a very small minority available for affordable rent, almost no land being held by communities to keep it affordable, and pretty much no support for alternative models like co-operatives.