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[Composite: Getty Images/PA].

As matters stand, it seems the UK will never build enough houses for those who need them – and young people will never be able to afford them anyway.

The problem lies in the fact that house prices have been allowed to rise. Homeowners now have a huge investment tied to the price of their property – but one that could fall in value if new, and cheap, houses are built.

And developers know they will lose profit if the build too many houses because this would allow prices to drift downwards.

Governments can say what they want but any promise to build a quarter of a million houses a year (the figure we are said to need) is a lie. It simply won’t happen under current conditions.

It would be a brave administration that took the bit between its teeth and said it would create a nationalised builder to put up as many houses as are necessary, because it would turn every homeowner in the country against that political party at the next election.

So what’s the solution?


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