It is frequently asserted that we are a nation of homeowners and how owning or striving to own your home makes financial sense, brings independence and is a source of great pride for many. It was Anthony Eden who first set out the noble vision of a "nationwide property-owning democracy", and the aspiration amongst people to one day own a property remains as strong as ever.
This is the starting point for me. Government absolutely should exist to help its people realise their aspirations, not through a hand-out but always through a hand-up. This subject, for me as a Conservative, is unapologetically about values. Politicians these days don’t talk about what they believe in enough. It’s as if ideology has become a bad word and it’s suddenly a crime to say what drives us.
Since 2008, the number of first-time buyers has declined from a long-term average of around 500,000 a year to just 200,000, and we know from DCLG figures that between 2000 and 2007, the average UK house price more than doubled from £106,000 to £214,000. For many first-time buyers, particularly those unable to access finance from the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’, these high prices have either delayed or ended their hopes of owning their own bricks and mortar. It is also a widely accepted fact of economic reality that house prices are high, in part, because housing in this country is in relatively short supply.