A housing crisis caused by sterility of thinking
History repeats itself mostly because we either fail to see or wilfully refuse to recognise its patterns. This is evident in the housing crisis. Despite the fact that boom and bust cycles come with appalling social costs, we seem incapable of insulating ourselves from them. It was taxpayers who shelled out for the massive costs left by failed banks and reckless developers - it is also taxpayers who are hit hardest by a decade during which practically no building took place.
So those who bore the worst of the recession - mostly the young - find themselves locked out of the property market. As a consequence of the housing shortage, rents in the capital and around the country actually exceed those at the height of the boom, as we reveal today.
Nationally, prices are up 8.6pc in the last year.