The Redfern Review – data misuse and data ignored!


The Redfern Review was initiated by John Healey the shadow Housing minister and headed up by Peter Redfern,CEO TAYLOR WIMPEY.

It identifies two problems – a Problem 1:decline in home ownership Problem 2: an increase in house prices

A number of comments are made:
As is to be expected, the ratio of homes to households is close to 1:1 and this is broadly constant over time. However, the surplus of houses over households starts at 800,000 in 1992 and peaks at 1.2 million in 2008-09, which is a reasonable variable but not huge in the context of a housing stock of over 28 million.

An interesting comment

Since 2004 and the conclusion of the Barker Review, it has been widely accepted that the long-term constraints on UK housing supply, and the fact that it has in recent decades been relatively unresponsive to fluctuations in demand, are the biggest constraints on housing availability.

Accepted by whom? House builders yes, planners yes, developers and others in the housing industry yes. Yet a more detailed analysis indicates that the planning system does not reduce supply.

What is interesting is that there is no mention of excessive demand and where it is derived from. No reference to unsustainable population growth, no reference to demand for second homes, investment properties, buy-to-let. Which is hardly surprising the review was headed up by the CEO of a major house-builder and initiated by the Labour Party which somehow likes to ignore the reality that population growth, largely driven by immigration is a major factor in the housing equation.

5. So is there actually already enough housing available in the right parts of the country to meet our reasonable housing requirements? In one sense the answer is yes. Housing is available – so if one has the capital for a deposit and a steady income, one can go and buy a home, in most size brackets, in most geographic markets. As pointed out in our focus groups “there [are] houses still out there but it’s just getting a house,
getting a mortgage, getting it sorted.”

Quite but if you are outbid by a second home buyer or someone wanting a house for investment then no, there are no houses for you.

Perhaps if housebuilders built houses for need there might not be a problem!

For the review:

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