The UK has a housing crisis because supply is insufficient for current population growth. Home ownership is falling and a growing number of young people have to live with their parents due to high rents.
Immigration is a critical factor. For example, it drove up house prices in England by about 20% between 1991 and 2016 (Govt bulletin, April 2018).
ONS data for a recent ten-year period shows that more than 90% of added households in England had a non-UK born head (‘England’ tab of spreadsheet).
Immigration to England at current levels will generate the need to build one home every six minutes, night and day (Household Projections).
Even this underestimates the impact of immigration on future housing demand, since it only takes account of future arrivals. While the relatively young age structure of the existing non-UK born population means this will also drive future household growth.
The UK housing crisis must be addressed but not by building on the UK’s green belt and eating up our countryside. A major reduction in immigration has to be a significant part of the solution, in addition to improvements in the supply of housing.
A majority (54%) of those who say there is a housing crisis see immigration as the main reason (Parliamentary briefing, 2017).
55% of 18-24 year olds support the government’s promise to reduce the immigration by a significant amount. Immigration is a key factor in rising housing costs (Channel 4 News Deltapoll, June 2018).