July 25, 2018

More important than giving millenials affordable housing, is to help them afford houses. C'est pas la même chose.

Sarah O’Connor writes, “Home ownership rates for young people have been declining for decades as house prices have detached from incomes.” “It’s time for millennials to fight for our rights” July 25.

Not really so! It is the price of homes that have become detached from the price of houses, as these have turned into investment havens.

Access to credit in preferential terms (like generating for the banks low capital requirements) and the support O’Connor mentions of “Bank of England [with low] interest rates and quantitative easing [tried] to shore up the economy, in part by propping up house prices” has made houses “safe” investments in a turbulent world.

When O’Connor mentions, “Loosening credit standards to help more millennials buy homes would be one method” my answer would be in the form of the following riddle:

How much easy financing has now to be provided to house buyers, only in order to finance the easy finance provided all house buyers previously? 

O’ Connor recommends “It would be better to build more houses in areas of high demand, including more social housing” and to “take measures to boost productivity so incomes rise”.

The first is indeed a sensible recommendation, for all times, but the second requires among other to stop favoring with the risk weighted capital requirements for banks the access of credit for the safer present (consumption - houses) which means de facto disfavoring that of the “riskier” future (production - entrepreneurs).

Let me be clear much more important than helping to give the young access to affordable housing, is to help them to afford houses; which of course c'est pas la même chose.

What I most miss though in O’Connor’s article is a reference to a Universal Basic Income. If the society is not able to generate decent and worthy unemployments, then increasing social conflicts will prove to be the greatest menace to the millennials (and to us oldies too)