Official figures suggest that, in England alone, 240,000 homes will need to be built every year for the next 25 years, 45% of which the government claim will be due to immigration; this would mean building one every five minutes However, 45% is an underestimate of the impact of immigration on future demand, since it only takes account of future migrants. The existing migrant population will also drive household growth.
The true position is not widely understood because the debate on the housing crisis focusses on the supply of new homes rather than the demand for them which is driven in large part by population growth. That in turn is mainly driven by immigration.
Official data shows that over the last ten years, 90% of the additional households created in England were headed by a person born abroad.
The increase in house prices and the high rents payed by those saving for a deposit have resulted in home ownership falling from 68% to 62% in ten years; it is now at its lowest level since 1984.
Young people are particularly affected by the housing crisis. High rents are forcing many to stay longer with parents or in shared accommodation and just 38% of those aged between 25 and 34 own their own home, down from 59% in 2003/04.
In the short term the UK needs to build more homes. In the longer term any housing strategy must also address demand and this must involve reducing net migration.