Discourage home ownership to build more houses



A peek into the future of housing? The Economist argues that the 'home-ownership fetish' in the rich world has not only caused deep economic crises, it is also undermining economic growth and intergenerational fairness. Fiscal systems push people to take on ever higher mortgages and boost housing prices. As a result, the younger generations do not have access to affordable housing, to buy nor to rent. Whereas the baby boomers in their 30s owned a third of all houses in the US in 1990, the millennials of today of roughly the same age only own 4%. Analysis by the Economist suggests that partly because of NIMBY home owners 'the number of new houses constructed per person in the rich world has fallen by half since the 1960s'. Can it be done differently? Definitely, Tokyo, Germany, Switzerland have no housing shortages, have built extensively and without rapidly soaring prices by creating healthy, affordable and well regulated rental markets and even taxing home ownership. It may be time to tear down the cult of home ownership, the more so given that younger generations seem to be less interested in owning assets anyway.


Read more on the Economist - Home ownership is the West’s biggest economic-policy mistake


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