Why isn’t the Tory party helping desperate leaseholders?

Marwa al-Sabouni is a Syrian architect who watched her home city of Homs destroyed during the Syrian conflict between 2011 and 2014. Out of that experience, she penned an  intensely moving and haunting account of what the idea of home means. She writes of how the dwellings we live in are intimately connected with our own sense of self: ‘Our homes don’t just contain our life earnings, they stand for what we are. To destroy one’s home should be taken as an equal crime to destroying one’s soul.’ It’s a statement that echoes the biblical vision of every person able to ‘live in safety, under their own vine and under their

How to end the housing cartel

It’s no surprise that house prices have risen faster over the last year than they have in almost the last twenty. After all, everyone has realised what a difference a home can make: the extra space for a home office, a garden for fresh air or even just a quiet corner to escape the reality of lockdown. Not to mention a stamp duty holiday encouraging people to buy quickly. But the luxury of homeownership is slipping away for many young people.  While these increased house prices are a boon for those lucky enough to be on the housing ladder, it spells further disaster for those of us waiting impatiently on

The insanity of Britain’s housing market

On the day the Office for National Statistics announced a sharp rise in consumer price inflation, albeit to a still modest 1.5 per cent, we discovered that house prices have jumped by a staggering 10.2 per cent in the last year. The average house in England now costs £275,000, close to ten times the average annual income. In 1992, the average house cost three times the average income. A housing boom during a pandemic in the wake of the deepest recession in 300 years doesn’t make a lot of sense, but a few recent events can partially explain it. After three lockdowns, there is pent-up demand, including for houses. The