Housing crisis could be ‘iceberg’ that sinks Tories

Conservative MP Nick Boles urges PM to build more houses before next election or face backlash

(Image credit: Carl Court/Getty Images)

The level of home ownership among young adults has “collapsed” over the past two decades, with the sharpest decline felt among middle income earners, the Institute for Fiscal Studies warns.

Just one in four middle-income young adults own their own home, compared to two in three young adults 20 years ago. The reason is simple: prices have risen about seven times faster in real terms than the incomes of young adults.

As a result they have been “robbed” of the chance to buy homes, says The Guardian, while the Daily Mail talks of the “end of the home owning dream”. In the Mail’s front page article, Robert Colvile of the Centre for Policy Studies describes the reduction in home ownership as “one of the most dramatic, and damaging, shifts in our society and economy in recent decades”.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

The knock-on effect of this decline could damage the Conservative party’s standing, according to The Daily Telegraph. “The fact that young, middle class professionals are half as likely to get on the housing ladder should panic the Tories,” says the paper.

Theresa May has been urged by members of her party to take “radical action” or face being pushed out of government in the following election, says Business Insider.

“The doubly whammy of stagnant wages and spiralling house prices has had a devastating effect on the ability of people in their 20s and 30s to buy their own home,” says Tory MP Nick Boles.

“This is an iceberg warning for Theresa May and the Conservative Party: if we do not take bold steps to get more houses built it will sink us at the next election.”

To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us