Simon Jenkin in last weeks ‘Guardian’ highlights some of the myths in regard to the issue of housing need.
He makes the interesting point that need is not the same as demand – where have we heard that before?
That house prices reflect not just house building numbers but demand and the finance available to support that.
But he also has some rather socially divisive views. For example, he is against the view “That people have a “right” to live where they or their parents lived before. Localities benefit from stable populations, but conferring and bequeathing such a right to discriminatory subsidy is in no book of rights.”
Hmmm Sounds very nice if second home owners force up prices in your area you just have to move. Not a good idea in any respect and of course its the poor who suffer not the affluent.
“That there is also a “right” to home ownership. The state has a housing obligation for those who need help. Home ownership is capital accumulation, developed out of the Tories’ mortgage tax relief as a form of saving for old age and to endow offspring. It promotes inequality and cannot be termed a right.”
Hmm well as most people actually buy houses to live in and their main aim is not to accumulate capital (as we have pointed out before house price increases are not really an indication of wealth for most people), then this is a facile argument. Again most elderly people do not use their property as a means of saving and if their children then get a property it saves them from having to fork out money to buy a new one.