Build on the green belt to ease home price crisis, say economists

Chris Papadopoullos
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ROLLING back the green belt and easing planning laws are needed to address the cost of living crisis, analysts at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) argued today, hitting out at Labour’s plans to cap rents and set conditions on the type of homes built.

The think tank argues that house prices have shot up because of restricted supply.

The UK has been building fewer new homes than any major country in Europe over the past three decades and residential floorspace per household is now the lowest in western Europe, according to the report.

As a result there is an urgent need to build more homes in areas where people want to live – which the IEA argues means green-field sites as well as the brown-field land currently available.

Much of the brown-field land is unsuitable for housing, and clean-up costs can be prohibitively high.

“Times are tough for millions of families up and down the country. But this will not be fixed by introducing new laws, taxes and regulations. To really reduce the cost of living politicians must urgently tackle the root causes, rather than impose populist quick fixes,” said IEA director Mark Littlewood.

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