Summary Home ownership in the UK comes in two main varieties: freehold and leasehold. ‘Freehold’ is ‘home ownership’ in the way most people probably understand that term: undivided, unconditional and permanent ownership. ‘Leasehold’ denotes a more limited form of ownership, which is not permanent (although typically very long-term), and which is shared with an ‘ultimate ... Continue reading

How to solve the United Kingdom's housing crisis

The United Kingdom’s housing costs are now among the highest on earth, the economic and social impacts severe. Since 1970, the average price of a house has risen four and a half-fold after inflation. No other OECD country has experienced a price increase of this magnitude over this period. London is virtually the most expensive ... Continue reading

An economic analysis of the Treasury’s treatment of privately rented housing

Summary: The private rented sector has played a critical role in increasing and improving housing provision in the UK. Around 80 per cent of private sector tenants are satisfied with their homes and satisfaction in the sector compares favourably with that in the social rented sector. This contribution has gone unrecognised: instead, landlords have been ... Continue reading

Ever-expanding Green Belt must be tackled to solve the UK's housing crisis, says new report

● The planning system has become too complex and the revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework risk exacerbating the situation. The principle of a clear general presumption in favour of sustainable development that has equal weight to other considerations, including the Development Plan, must be reintroduced. ● The Planning Inspectorate appears to be under ... Continue reading

Winning essay for the IEA Richard Koch Breakthrough Prize

Winner of the £50,000 prize: Ben Clements For more information about the IEA Breakthrough Prize please visit Summary:  Free market ideals should not be limited to esoteric debates about what could be achieved in theory. Indeed, competition, decentralisation, accountability and choice can solve the biggest challenges of our time. The cost and inaccessibility of housing ... Continue reading

A critique of the Communication Workers Union's rent control proposals

Introduction: Rent controls are firmly back on the political agenda. At the national level the reintroduction of rent controls is now official Labour Party policy. At the London level Mayor Sadiq Khan calls for their reintroduction as well. Politicians, however, are in this case merely following a shift in the Overton Window which has already ... Continue reading

New IEA briefing identifies causes of housing crisis & suggests solutions

Summary:  Since 1970, average house prices have risen four and a half fold after inflation. No other OECD country's experience has even come close. The UK's housing stock is not just inadequate in total, but much of it is also in the 'wrong place', because what little development we have is skewed towards those parts ... Continue reading

Government’s timid reform will not solve chronic housing affordability problems

Not enough is being done to reduce the extraordinarily high cost of housing in Britain. This is the finding of a new report released today by the Institute of Economic Affairs Abundance of land, shortage of housing. In the research Kristian Niemietz looks at how housing costs in the UK have exploded in recent decades. ... Continue reading

An exploration of the 'Right to Buy' policy.

The 'Right to Buy' is the most controversial housing policy of the last 30 years, but it is also the most successful. Margaret Thatcher’s government sought to open up owner occupation to working class households and to break the hold that local authorities had on rented housing. Both these aims were clearly met. The Right ... Continue reading

Peter King proposes radical reform of the system of support for housing costs and the abolition of social housing.

The provision of housing for the less well off has been dominated by the state for over sixty years. Despite some moves to increase choice for tenants in the 1980s, policy in the UK has been characterised by a desire to control the suppliers of housing, without ever giving tenants true autonomy or providing them ... Continue reading