Scarcity is spreading through the economy - and it might boost housing supply

Paul Smith CROP

From lab and distribution space, to reservoirs and energy, we don’t seem to have enough of anything and this might give impetus to the planning reform we need to boost housing, argues Paul Smith

For those of us working in the housing sector, scarcity is not new. It is almost 20 years since Kate Barker published her report on housing, concluding that a key reason why England’s house prices had been increasing at a rate more than double the EU average was a shortage of supply. Barker also observed that the planning system was a key barrier to building more homes.

Since then, much has changed but little has been achieved.

The number of new homes being built each year is barely higher than 2001’s post-war low which prompted the government to commission the Barker Review in the first place.

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