Business Secretary, Vince Cable said more houses need to be built, even if it means using green belt.

With housing inflation reaching ‘dangerous levels’, Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills said Britain needs to make tough decisions regarding how to double the number of new homes it builds. He added that using green belt in some cases might be the only way to prevent house price inflation from increasing further.

“We are in future going to have to take tough decisions about using green belt areas for new planned cities, garden cities for example,” Cable said. “I think what’s happening is worrying for many families, particularly low income and middle income families who can no longer get into the housing market. It means that people who can get mortgages are piling up private debt. It’s potentially creating financial instability, as the governor [of the Bank of England] has warned.”

He also noted that schemes like the government’s Help to Buy missed the bigger picture: that there is a significant lack of housing across the country.

“There is an enormous gap between what’s needed, which is probably 300,000 houses a year as my party is advocating, and what we’re currently getting, which is 125,000 to 130,000. We are way short on the housing supply which is needed.”

Double-digit house price inflation in London, Cable said, meant prices are now higher in the capital than in 2007. With house prices in London continuing to rise, living in the city is becoming increasingly difficult for many. However, house inflation is not limited to the south of England, and a lack of affordable housing is becoming a significant problem for many families across the country.

“In the short run the problem is that housing inflation is getting to dangerous levels and building new houses is necessary. Very large numbers of middle income families and indeed quite prosperous families can no longer get into the housing market.”


  1. Various Governments have had over 30 years to deal with this, 30 years!!!

    The block on social housing construction, the right to buy and sheer ignorance have now come together to create a “perfect storm” that we now have. I know saying I told you so won’t solve anything, but Architects saw this coming.

  2. Making land available for new “cities” and towns in the long term will aid in redressing the 130,000 a year shortfall balance.However by the time this Utopian future arrives we will be so far behind as to be pulling ourselves up by our bootlaces.

    We are one of the UK’s leading exponents of Thin Mortar Technology, a construction technology used in Europe for many years which can reduce construction times by as much as 20%.
    However there is a degree of futility created by the fact that it takes longer to obtain planning permission than to build, sell and get the new owners securely settled in!

    Streamlining of the planning system is essential if we are going to come anywhere near new build targets. Carney’s comment that the rate of homebuilding was half that in his own country, Canada, despite the UK having a population twice the size.The reason–the planning process is less onerous. There is no boom and bust property market as supply keeps up with demand.

    The prime way to take the heat out of our property market is to let it be ruled by the basic principles of supply and demand.

    Lets stop making the planning system a political ping pong. Cross party cooperation is essential to create a statuary system.

    Should the technology adopted by Clearview Homes merit discussion I would be delighted to comment.


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