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A combination of continually rising house prices and pessimism about the future is threatening to send into reverse the explosion in home ownership stimulated by Margaret Thatcher 30 years ago, making Britain more like Europe, where living in rented property is the norm.
Can we pick apart this narrative?

First of all, if Maggie had to stimulate home ownership to get the UK to where it is today, then the UK 40 years ago was "more like Europe".

Then, did Maggie do more than stimulate a 30-year housing price bubble by making it easier to buy a property on credit?

Finally, prices cannot continue to rise forever beyond what's affordable. Something has to give. And a lot of "organised support" has been brought to bear on the UK housing market to avert a price crash that might have happened in 2005 or thereabouts (see here).

I claim the first "undulating plateau" starting around 2004 is a signature of artificial price support, and then they managed to restart the bubble until the Global Financial Clusterfuck. Now, London may well deviate from this national average, but still...

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 1st, 2011 at 10:49:39 AM EST

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