Why building more homes will not solve Britain’s housing crisis | Ann Pettifor

Photo of Why building more homes will not solve Britain’s housing crisis | Ann Pettifor

The problem of inflated prices lies in property speculation. That’s what we need to clamp down on

Everyone – from the government, to housing charities, to housebuilders – has bought into the conventional wisdom that the dysfunction that racks our housing market is a matter of demand and supply. We’re not building enough houses, so house prices have been sent rocketing, taking home-ownership out of reach for growing numbers of young people. But in reality, our housing problems are not a simple feature of supply and demand. Rather, our housing market has a bitcoin problem.

What has bitcoin mania got in common with house prices, especially in the capital? For starters, both are speculative bubbles. Vast sums of money have been poured into finite supplies of bitcoins and London property. Both have consequently exploded in value, albeit over different time periods. And so both have become financialised assets that deliver capital gains far in excess of people’s ability to earn income from work, or from investment in the real economy. And as with bitcoin, so with London property: speculators are convinced that prices will continue to rise for ever.

Today many buy-to-let owners borrow against the monthly income they get from renting out property

Related: The London skyscraper that is a stark symbol of the housing crisis

Continue reading...
view The Guardian: Money
#house prices
#housing market
#buying to let