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This isn’t the first Economic Agenda column I’ve written on the UK housing market – and it won’t be the last. Our national obsession with house prices is so engrained that few economic issues catch the eye quite like housing supply and demand. More fundamentally, the UK’s failure over many years to build enough homes is not only severely curtailing growth, but is also now a source of social division and rancour.

“We need a national crusade to get homes built,” said David Cameron at the Conservative party conference in Manchester last month. “When a generation of hard-working men and women in their 20s and 30s are waking up each morning in their childhood bedrooms – that should be a wake-up call”.

While the Prime Minister’s analysis is right, house completions have averaged below 120,000 annually since the Tories took office in 2010. That’s far short of the 250,000 needed each year to cope with our own demography, let alone immigration.
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