Despite the prospect of falling house prices and an eventual loosening of the banks’ lending criteria, millions of people will never own their own home says the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).

A whole ‘Generation Rent’ is being created according to the Express amongst workers in their thirties. But far from being something new this just turns the clock back to when most people rented or lived with relatives or friends. In fact it was the explosion in owner/occupation that was the new concept.

The CIH chief executive, Sarah Webb, said “A golden age of home ­ownership is coming to an end. This idea that an Englishman’s home is his castle gained momentum in the 1980s with right-to-buy and then post the 1990s downturn when people saw owning a home as not just accumulating somewhere to live but also an investment. The time has come to move away from the notion of ‘right-to-buy’ and ‘wrong-to-rent’.”

According to the Express report there are 1.8 million people queuing for social housing but many more on just below average wages will have no hope of getting any help from the councils.

Now, stop me if I’m wrong, but haven’t we just had a huge housing boom? Weren’t builders putting up houses in every corner of the land they could get their hands on? If we didn’t build enough homes for people when we had record numbers of occupier/owners and endless cash swilling about then we don’t stand a chance now do we?

But what happened to all those houses? Were they torn down? Did they evaporate? Or are they standing empty?

Something to me just does not add up. When there was money in housing just about everyone was either a ‘property developer’ or a wannabe property developer. (Actually most of the ones I met had a few quid in the bank and thought they could make millions by buying a house, splashing some paint about with a few chintzy curtains and selling it on. Not a clue!)

Or is the truth that not many new extra houses were actually built. Just lots of renovation and shuffling of bricks and mortar for ever increasing sums of paper money? All that money poured in and no extra capacity created. No wonder we have a shortage then.

We must either gear the private sector towards properly providing for society’s housing needs or central government needs to take more control. Now that’s a sobering choice isn’t it?

Ah well, there’s always mud and straw.

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