Do you think house prices are too high? We know why

By | 21/01/2015

1. Banks created hundreds of billions of pounds and put it into property

In the ten years up  to the start of the financial crisis, house prices tripled. Many people think this is because there were not enough houses around, but that is only part of the picture. A major cause of the rise was that banks have the ability to create money every time they make a loan. During the period in question the amount of money banks created through mortgage lending more than quadrupled! This lending was a major driver of the massive increase in house prices.

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2. House prices rise faster than wages

House prices rise much faster than wages, which means that houses become less and less affordable. Anyone who didn’t already own a house before the bubble started growing ends up giving up more and more of their salary simply to pay for a place to live. And it’s not just house buyers who are affected: pretty soon rents go up too, including in social housing.

This increase in prices led to a massive increase in the amount of money that first time buyers spent on mortgage repayments. For example, while in 1996 the amount of take home salary that a first time buyer would spend on their mortgage was 17.5%, by 2008 this had risen to 49.3%. In London the figures are even more shocking, rising from 22.2% of take home pay spent on their mortgage in 1997 to 66.6% in 2008.

More info on positivemoney.org