Can housing ever be affordable?

What would it take to make housing more affordable for first-time buyers? I asked more or less the same vexed question in 2013 when this column kicked off. Three years later, it feels less answerable than ever. In terms of supply and demand, the number of new homes currently under construction is well below the UK government’s target of 200,000 new homes a year. That figure is almost half the amount needed annually just to meet existing demand, according to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee. And yet, rather than increasing new housing supply, the latest housebuilding data shows that residential construction levels are actually falling: down by 3.2% in May – the biggest drop since

Government to save the planet in its spare time

As a master of understatement observed on the box last night, it’s been an interesting couple of weeks. A new prime minister, a new government plus what appears to be a new set of priorities – and not all of them directed at Brexit either. It was a fraught business that saw Boris eventually installed (or impaled) at the Foreign Office but it’s the arbitrary disbandment of the Department of Energy and Climate Change that has got a bunch of people steamed up. Twitchy environmentalists can recall how when confronted by a looming energy crisis and spiralling fuel costs three years ago (remember that?), David Cameron was reported to have told his officials to “get rid of all the green crap” – mea

Children of the revolution?

It’s been one of those weeks, hasn’t it? You know, you’re busy looking up the dictionary definition of "existential" while counting who’s left to form a shadow cabinet and then Boris and Nigel suddenly shuffle off stage. Give the duo credit though, there’s few who could shaft the establishment, get shafted in return by their ‘allies’ and then complain that the pro-remain camp didn’t have a workable Plan B in readiness. Follow that particular logic through and you’d expect Churchill to have prepared a strategy for collaborating with the enemy should the worst have happened. I make that analogy for those who confuse remembrance of the sacrifice made during the last world war with the inclinati

Weekly Column

© whiterock wales (2020)