The shortage of housing. Fact or fiction?

For at least a decade now, we have heard much from government and house-builders about the shortage of housing. But is there really a shortage of housing? Certainly there is a shortage of housing that is actually affordable to most first time (and second/third/fourth time) buyers, but that is surely a different matter.

We have been told that we must build hundreds of thousands of new homes every year to meet demand, and that if we do, then this increase in supply will bring prices down to affordable levels. Well, has it worked? Of course not. It is just not physically possible to increase supply quickly enough in a short space of time to boost supply sufficiently to lower prices. And in any case, would the powers that be (Government and the BIG housebuilders) really want this?

Green belts are being stretched and in some cases ignored, all because of 'the shortage of housing'. But how many houses will have to be built on green-field sites, for how many years, before we learn that it hasn't worked, and instead has wrecked our environment, increased congestion and pressure on public services? In the same period, the large house-builders will have turned huge profits, their main board all billionaires. And all because their PR and Lobbying firms proved very successful at persuading us that there is a drastic shortage of housing!

We should not forget that these huge house builders are not charities. Neither is their priority providing places to live. They are public limited companies, and their priority is to increase profits for shareholders. The End.

What's more, Cornwall is one of the most beautiful of the British Isles, and whilst providing housing that is affordable (not to be confused with 'Affordable Housing') is obviously important, surely it would be catastrophic to spoil this very special county in the process.