Feb 112013
 
Housing costs: London versus the rest

I live in Stockport and I am often surprised about housing costs (buying or renting) being quoted. I “sort of” knew that London and the South East are more expensive. This article collects together some information revealing some big differences. My view now is that London is such a special case that it should always be analysed and quoted separately. The impact on people, and the policies that might be needed, shouldn’t be lost by considering only broader averages such a “region” or “country”. The experiences of people in London can’t be generalised to England or the UK, and English or UK . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Feb 082013
 
Brief analysis of young house-buyers in latest English Housing Survey

People concerned with the difficulties faced by young people wanting houses will probably be examining the latest English Housing Survey. As expected, there are some misleading news articles: Home ownership collapses to its lowest level for 25 years: Millions of families and first time buyers priced off the property ladder News articles quite accurately point out that people under 35 only own about 10% of the houses. An important missing question is: “how many should they own?“ Here is a more informative view. This graph comes from the tables released with the survey; the orange columns show how 100% of the houses are . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Feb 052013
 
The age of first time house buyers

It is well-established that the average age of first time house buyers is greater than it was a few decades ago. This graph is from today’s BBC article Have young people never had it so bad? There are various reasons for this. One reason that tends to be neglected is that the average age of the end of full time education is also greater than it was a few decades ago.  If one of the factors involved in buying a house is the number of years spent earning money to contribute to a deposit on the house, then there would naturally . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jan 032013
 
In praise of "NIMBY"!

I haven’t previously thought much about the attitude of NIMBY (“not in my back yard“), except to recognise the term as pejorative. I’m not currently threatened by developments close to my house. (Even the nearby  A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road proposals which I’ve studied and responded to). Then I saw this on Twitter: What a nasty attitude! There is nothing hypocritical about defending your own property from deterioration and devaluation. (And I’m sure James O’Shaughnessy would defend his own lifestyle against deterioration; his job once didn’t exist, so is that a reason why young people can take over some . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Nov 252012
 
Commentary on "Intergenerational Fairness Index" by the Intergenerational Foundation

I am writing an article to post here to be called “Generation by generation – are things getting better or worse?” Obviously this needs to take into account what is happening about “intergenerational fairness”. But what does that term mean? I started with “Intergenerational Fairness Index – Measuring Changes in Intergenerational Fairness in the United Kingdom” from the Intergenerational Foundation, since its title matched what I wanted. But it actually demonstrates what not to do! I’ve written a commentary (below) on that document in order to discuss what “intergenerational fairness” means and how to measure it. Summary of commentary on . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Nov 212012
 
The effect of baby booms on the housing crisis of younger people

Reminder 1: there was no “1945-65 baby boom”! This article is primarily about the big baby boom from about 1955 to about 1974, and a smaller one from about 1978 to 1992. Reminder 2: blame must not be attached to an “accident of birth”, and belonging to a baby boom is such an accident. And there is no implication that the people of any baby boom did anything wrong that helped cause the housing crisis. Summary Although the birth rate of the post-war generation hasn’t unduly influenced governments to favour this generation, it surely had an impact on the housing . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Oct 302011
 
More reasons to be cautious about "intergenerational unfairness"

In recent posts I’ve criticised the tendency of blaming older people for the problems being faced by younger people. Now there are more reasons to question this tendency. Regional differences This isn’t about intergenerational problems per se. But it shows something else that must be taken into account – where you live. The lesson is that if you live in London or the South East, don’t blame your problems on older people, blame them on where you live. Many older people in the rest of country would struggle to live there; why should young people expect to do so? Telegraph: . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Oct 212011
 
The politics of envy in intergenerational analysis

This is the 3rd of 3 articles criticising The Intergenerational Foundation: Some fallacies in “Hoarding of Housing: The intergenerational crisis in the market” Simple example of how The Intergenerational Foundation is wrong about housing (This article) “Intergenerational analysis” is a popular topic (and more discussion across the world can be expected in future). There are many people, associated with a number of organisations, campaigning for it. There is nothing inherently wrong about campaigning for any form of fairness, as long there is a reasonable definition of “fair”. But there rarely is, because it is in the eye of the beholder. . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Oct 202011
 
Simple example of how The Intergenerational Foundation is wrong about housing

This is the 2nd of 3 articles criticising The Intergenerational Foundation: Some fallacies in “Hoarding of Housing: The intergenerational crisis in the market” (This article) The politics of envy in intergenerational analysis There are obviously things seriously wrong with the housing market in the UK. But according to The Intergenerational Foundation, it is primarily about unused bedrooms in houses hoarded by older people! I’ve published an introduction to their errors in: Some fallacies in “Hoarding of Housing: The intergenerational crisis in the market”. Here I’ll illustrate the error using the analogy of an imaginary country with a simplified version of . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Oct 192011
 
Some fallacies in "Hoarding of Housing: The intergenerational crisis in the market"

This is the 1st of 3 articles criticising The Intergenerational Foundation: (This article) Simple example of how The Intergenerational Foundation is wrong about housing The politics of envy in intergenerational analysis The Intergenerational Foundation is a relatively new charity intended to help younger generations at the expense of older generations. They don’t put it quite like that! They say “We believe that each generation should pay its own way, which is not happening at present. British policy-makers have given undue advantages to the older generation at the expense of younger and future generations”. (In what way are we – I’m . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]