An extremely important subject flickered onto our news radar last week. It was soon crowded out by other events but will return, I hope several times, before the May general election. Amidst headlines telling of an interim deal between Greece and its creditors, Madonna falling off a stage and the true identity of “Jihadi John”, this vital topic punched through. Housing is surely one of the most significant, and divisive, issues the UK now faces. And despite politicians’ reluctance to discuss it, the debate could well get heated in the run-up to polling day.
Last week’s housing news was driven by a warning from a leading international think-tank that Britain isn’t building enough homes. UK house prices are soaring, argued the Organisation for Cooperation and Development in a new report, because “housing supply has not risen to meet demand”. Such sharp price rises, the OECD continued, “may create risks to financial stability in the case of a downward adjustment”.