Property prices: right diagnosis, wrong medicine
"For a cash-strapped government the costs (of high property prices) should be obvious. Expensive houses mean bigger wage demands from public sector workers. They have also pushed up the housing benefit bill by £8bn since 1997, while blocking people from leaving social housing, doubling the waiting list and locking many families in dependency. Rising prices have also choked off a right-to-buy programme that used to generate billions in revenues.
For individuals the cost is less obvious, but no less real. Property prices are embodied in everything you consume. The sandwich you buy at lunchtime costs more if the person who made it has to pay higher rent. Furthermore, rising house prices transfer wealth from poor to rich, and from the young to the baby boomers."
Indeed. But then he veers off in completely the wrong direction. The answer, he says, is to liberalise housing laws so that people can build anything, anywhere, any time. (Well, he's a bit more circumspect than that, but not much.)
No, the biggest part of the answer lies here. And just think of all that lovely tax revenue that would come with it.