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Opinion
Ferdinando Giugliano

To End U.K. Housing Shortage, Build More Houses. Duh.

British politicians should address supply constraints rather than tinkering with demand.
Short supply, high prices.

Short supply, high prices.

Photographer: Chris J. Ratcliffe/Getty Images

Rarely has a solution to a problem been so easy to imagine and yet so hard to implement as in the case of the U.K. housing crisis. Britain needs to build more houses, particularly in overcrowded areas such as the southeast. Yet politicians prefer to tinker with demand: This will simply to push up prices, at the expense of new buyers.

The housing market in the areas in and around London has taken a knock since Brexit, but properties continue to be unaffordable for most. It now takes the average Londoner 14.5 times their annual salary to buy a home, a study by Hometrack, the research company, has shown. Other nearby cities, including Oxford and Cambridge, have similar house price-to-earnings ratios.