That headline isn't quite how the authors of this new research paper would quite put it but perhaps valid all the same. If we want to lower house prices in those expensive conurbations then we've got to kill the transport unions:
This rise in the relative price of housing across most developed countries in the period since WWII has come as the proportion of the population living in big cities has risen in most developed countries. It has also coincided with a period where real transport costs have been flat or (more recently) often rising; that is markedly different from the period between the middle of the 19th century and WWII when transport costs fell dramatically. These phenomena – rising relative price of housing, an end to falls in transport costs, greater urbanisation in population – are plausibly linked. Agglomeration forces – creating incentives to work close to other people – may have got stronger over the past 100 years; transport improvements have allowed people to live further from where they work. The changing interplay between those factors is a major force behind national and regional house price changes.
If we can lower commuting costs then people can live further away from work and so we can use more land. That lowering house prices of course.
Bit hard on all those hard working train and bus drivers of course but we do all agree that house prices, housing affordability, is a national crisis, yes?