Posted by: aboutalbion | March 17, 2015

The English dream is evaporating

There is a ‘Homes for Britain’ rally today in central London to give expression to the idea that ‘everyone has a right to a decent affordable home to call their own’.  People of my generation have grown up with the aspirational English dream of actually owning their own home.

But data today from the National Housing Federation [NHF] for the ‘Homes for Britain’ rally shows that the property ladder is becoming invisible for most people without a home of their own.

This NHF data “reveals that property values in England increased by £289 billion in the first three years of the current government, but that £282 billion of the wealth increase (97%) took place in the capital and the South East”. [BBC report]

To me, this is confirmation that housing (along with debt) are the big national political issues.

So far as I can see, a situation in which the annual increase in residential property wealth is greater than average annual earnings from work will degrade social cohesion.

Then there is the broad question of how much does London and the South East have in common with the rest of the UK.

And finally there is the acute question of whether those who own agricultural land and those who own residential land live on the same planet – given that there is such a steep disparity between the prices of the different kinds of land.

Meanwhile the English dream of the many to own their own home vanishes with the disappearing property ladder.


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