By John Bean. House prices and the lack of available mortgages, particularly for young couples, is much in the news and is a problem that can only grow.
London is following this trend and by next year will have fewer owner-occupiers than tenants.
This has produced a spate of articles and TV reports in the media discussing the problems with suggestions for meeting the needs of first-time buyers.
Some of them have been quite informative, such as one by Ed Howker, writing in the Daily Telegraph.
The arguments have been mainly inspired by the revelation that the Government are secretly about to remove restrictions on building on greenbelt areas, as a means of finding housing for our expanding 60 million population – which particularly affects England, the most densely populated country in the world after the Netherlands, but excluding city states such as Hong Kong and Singapore.
If the Coalition Government allows the developers to resurrect the previous Labour Government’s plans for several new towns, three million extra houses could be built, mainly on greenbelt land, over the next decade.
What is amazing is that virtually without exception the articles made no mention of the simple fact that as the indigenous peoples of these islands have a falling birth rate then the only cause for a rising shortage of accommodation must be down to immigration – which has increased our population by a million in less than four years. This is an example of the proverbial elephant in the dining room which political correctness tells commentators they must not mention for fear of being dubbed a racist.
To be fair to Ed Howker he did say in his article that many councils suffer such intense shortages of social housing, such as in London, that they now pay premium rents to private landlords to house immigrant families.
They are living in vast central London houses paid for by taxpayers. This of course means that millions of Britons are trapped on council waiting lists for social housing that may never come their way.
Many of these new landlords who have cashed in on the emphasis on buy-to-let are Russian, Far Eastern and Indian speculators who buy new homes for cash. In the past five years foreign speculators have bought housing worth £16.5 billion. For some it is a perfect mechanism for money laundering.
A further drastic effect on the future make-up of the people of these islands is that young couples are delaying having children because they cannot afford to buy a house.
The housing charity Shelter last year estimated that this involved 2.8 million young people last year. A further quarter of a million are delaying nuptials for the same reason. As Ed Howker said: “Think about that when the Government next proclaims that it believes in marriage.”
Nationalist Councillors – and hopefully forthcoming MPs – must demand that priority must be given to the building of starter homes and that for the first twelve months they are offered only to locally born people – essential so that villages and small towns do not die. Above all much firmer regulations must be enacted that extend a tenant’s short notice of two months or less to twelve months and strict control on rent increases. This is standard practice in Germany and Scandinavia.
Will the Coalition act on any of these suggestions? Of course not.