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Uk's Housing Needs New Foundations

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Jack Mitchell, 24, doing temporary work in Surrey after graduating from Birmingham University, is not even considering buying at the moment because it is just not "viable", adding : "I don't know anyone my age who owns a house."


Julia Lodge, sales manager at estate agents Barnard Marcus in Hammersmith, west London, says first-time buyers are still struggling to get mortgages: "Most of our buyers are either cash or European buyers. There are first-time buyers looking, but the vast majority of them are getting help from their parents. There are hardly any that can do it on their own any more."


Professor David Blanchflower, who recently left the Bank of England's monetary policy committee, wrote last week that we should not get carried away. "House prices still have a long way to fall. It should be remembered that during the period of declining house prices of the early 1990s, approximately one month in three house prices actually increased."


Nickell says that the long-running shortage of housing that the British property market suffers has not gone away just because prices have slumped. "There is a shortage in the sense that not enough houses have been built to keep pace with the number of new households being formed," he adds. "And that has been the case since about 1998."


There are campaigners who argue that Britain should deal once and for all with its damaging boom-bust cycle in house prices by reaching for a radical policy known as annual land value tax (LVT), which would be levied on the value of land up to its maximum permitted development value.

Edited by bobed

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