[Re: The French build three times more new homes than we do, yesterday]
There are many interesting comparisons with France. Populations are similar, but France is growing slower – around 300,000 per year, so babies will soon get second homes. Total mortgages outstanding were €800bn (£683m), compared with £1, 265bn in the UK. And house prices are much lower in France than in the UK, giving builders far greater confidence of achieving a sale.
Having prevented UK prices from collapsing by keeping credit cheap, the government is pushing them up by now making that credit more available. Prices would soon fall in the UK if politicians stopped manipulating the market. That would be painful for many existing owners, but is necessary to allow prices to correct to a position from which arguments about the supply and demand of buildings can start to be made.
I wonder whether the current rigid regulatory framework in housing will ever be able to engineer the liquidity of transactions and broad economic participation we aspire to.
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