Friday, 11 May 2007

Housing costs taking their toll of society

Ed: I promise to blog on why this should be of concern to Christians, as soon as I get the time.

[...] The squeeze on incomes must eventually tell. Next month’s new selling regulations may cool the market a little more. But there will not be a price crash unless there is a much sharper rise in unemployment than currently looks likely.

Nonetheless, there will be a price to pay for the continuing rise in house prices. As existing borrowers see their budgets stretched, consumer spending and economic growth will suffer, perhaps at just the wrong time. And more people will be excluded from decent housing.

This will not only raise shrill demands for regulation and subsidy. It has a social cost for those excluded from the housing market.

First-time buyers and lenders are resorting to evermore bizarre and unwise tactics to get a foot on to the bottom of the property ladder. Buy-to-let investors are pushing up the price of flats and houses, making it harder and harder for young people to buy a home. Read more

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