Watch: History of housing crisis in 2 minutes – ‘Goes back to Thatcher’

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Housing affordability in England has deteriorated to its worst levels since records started in 1999, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

It comes as journalist Grace Blakely has summed up the current housing crisis in two minutes.

In the year to the end of March 2021, the average home sold in England cost £275,000 – the equivalent of 8.7 times the average annual disposable household income, the ONS said.

In Wales, where the average house price was £176,000, the ratio was 6.0, and in Scotland, where the average house price was £166,000, it was 5.5.

In London, an averagely-priced home would cost around 40 years’ worth of income for a low-income household.

Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown said: “The dream of owning your own home is rapidly disappearing with the average home sold in England costing the equivalent of 8.7 times annual disposable income.”

So what can be done?

Grace Blakeley appeared on LBC to discuss the seriousness of the crisis facing people trying to get on the housing ladder.

She claims it began with Margaret Thatcher’s right-to-buy scheme.

Introduced in 1980, the first iteration of the Right to Buy scheme was one of the flagship policies of Thatcher’s newly formed government.

It encouraged council house tenants to buy the homes they lived in and forced local authorities to sell their properties on request at a discount. 

In June Boris Johnson announced plans allowing lower-paid workers to use housing benefits to buy their homes and the right to buy will be extended for housing association tenants.

He hoped the pledges to assist individuals on to the property ladder will please rebel MPs and voters who are facing fresh pressures from the cost-of-living crisis.

However, there are concerns it will simply further exacerbate the affordability crisis.



A lot of people praised Blakeley’s comments: