Event Name Housing Heresy: why housing supply wasn’t the cause and isn’t the solution to our housing woes
Start Date 26th Oct 2018 3:00pm
End Date 26th Oct 2018 6:00pm
Duration 3 hours

Abstract: Average UK house prices have risen by around 150% in real terms since the mid-1990s, while home ownership rates have collapsed. From the prime minister on down, there is a broad consensus that this housing crisis is the result of decades of undersupply. The solution, it is claimed, therefore lies in a massive boost to house building, adding some 300,000 extra units per year for the foreseeable future. But a closer look at the data and established economic theory suggests that the consensus diagnosis and prescription are wrong. Ian will argue that insufficient housing was not the cause of high prices nor is boosting supply a plausible solution to the problem. If we want to solve the housing crisis we therefore need to look to solutions that address the real causes of the trends we have seen.

Biographical statement: Ian Mulheirn is the Director of Consulting at Oxford Economics, a global economic consulting company, which he joined in 2013. He is also the Chair of Trustees at Generation Rent, and a board member of the Society of Professional Economists. Prior to Oxford Economics, for five years Ian was the Director of the Social Market Foundation, a Westminster public policy think tank specialising in economic research and policy design. There he led the organisation’s influential work on topics ranging from economic growth to the commissioning of public services, winning the Prospect Magazine Think Tank of the Year award in 2012. As part of his role Ian appeared before a number of parliamentary select committees as an expert witness, and wrote for national newspapers including The Financial Times, The Guardian and the Sunday Times. Before moving to the SMF, Ian was an economic adviser at HM Treasury where, among other things, he undertook extensive labour market analysis, publishing econometric evaluations of the labour supply impact of the minimum wage and the UK government’s tax credit reforms. Ian was a panel member on the 2016 Redfern Review into the decline of home ownership and until 2016 he sat on the Mayor of London’s Employment and Skills Working Group. Ian holds degrees in economics from Oxford University and University College London. In 2014 he was awarded the Society of Professional Economists’ Rybczynski Prize.

***After the talk there will be plenty of space for open discussions between speaker and audience and following that all attendees are invited to join a drinks reception*