The latest barkingly mad idea about house prices

David Boyle is, as we know, associated with the new economics foundation. It is therefore obvious that his ideas about matters economic are going to be less than sensible. He's approaching a real problem here of course:

David Boyle, who is also a fellow of the New Economics Foundation think-tank, said home ownership will be beyond the means of many of today’s children, leaving them at the mercy of rising rents. He predicted that by 2045, the average house price will reach £1.2million, meaning only the very rich will be able to afford a property.

I suppose that it's possible that that could happen, yes. So, what's his solution?

Instead, he said a radical solution is needed whereby new homes are sold at their initial price for 100 years.

And so is the nef's reputation for economic lunacy left entirely unsullied.

For prices are information. Rising house prices are the information that it would be a good idea to go build some more houses. And if we freeze house prices then we don't get that information about whether we might or should go build more. And if we don't have the information about possible shortages then such shortages, if they occur, will just get worse, won't they?

A rather more sensible response to rising house prices might be to issue more of those little chittys that allow you to build on a particular p[iece of land. Housing permits they are sometimes called. For we have no shortage of land that could be built upon, only a shortage of those chittys allowing the housing to be built. In fact, we're not even seeing rising house prices. We're really seeing a rise in the scarcity value of the chittys. Which, since they're created at the stroke of a bureaucrat's pen would seem to be a fairly easy thing to make more of.

And yes, nef still stands for not economics frankly.