That British house prices are too high is one of those generally accepted parts of the political conversation. It's even one where we agree that something must be done. The part where we might disagree with the consensus is over what must be done. For - OK, part of at least - what must be done has been done.
House prices are too high, something must be done to lower them. Great:
The value of Britain's housing market has fallen by £26.9bn, or 0.33pc, since the start of the year, as growth in the North East and Wales has failed to counteract falling prices in many other regions across the country.
The nation’s homes decreased in value by an average of £927 each between Jan 1 and June 30 this year, and are now worth a collective £8.2 trillion, according to figures from property site Zoopla.
Something has been done therefore. Whether enough has is still open to question, certainly, although it's worth noting that those are nominal prices, we can add another percentage point or two to the decline for general inflation. So too to affordability, given that while real wages aren't rising strongly they're not falling much either.
Housing is becoming more affordable.
This rather means that we don't need to nationalise the entire housing stock (something we've seen suggested in The Guardian), nor use taxpayers' funds to build 300,000 council houses a year, as seems to be the official policy of more than one political party. In fact, it means that something which needed to be done has been done.
As our own analysis of this problem, repeated ad nauseam, has been, the problem is not the price nor cost of houses, it's the value of the planning chitty to allow a house to be built. We're not short of land, we're short of land which can be built upon. The solution is therefore to issue more such permits.
Policy in recent years has been to issue more permits. Not in the manner we would prefer, the destruction of the structure of the planning system itself, but more have been issued and in areas people might actually want to live in too. As we can see, prices are becoming more affordable.
As we say, something needed to be done and something was done. Remarkably for government action the right something was done too. As ever with government action the right thing being for government to do less. Stop banning people from building where people desire to live and house prices will come down. We did, they have, why not do more of what works?