House prices are increasing five times faster than wages, and five other depressing charts about housing

"LOL!" Image: Getty.

The Resolution Foundation is a British think tank which focuses its work on the living standards of those on low to middle income. High housing costs mean that those Britons on low to middle incomes are – we may have mentioned this before – stuffed. And so, the Resolution Foundation has been wiling away some happy hours this morning, tweeting out some of the most depressing graphs you have ever seen in your life.

Here’s what we they told us.

House prices are increasing at five times the rate of wages

This, for those who have just joined us, means a mass transfer of money out of the pockets of those who don’t own houses, into the pockets of those who do.

 

 

But this is largely a London problem

Honestly, look at the state of this:

 

 

The South East is largely London commuter territory. So is a large chunk of the East England, and so are parts of the South West (Swindon and so forth).

So it's probably not a coincidence that the more London-y a region is, the bigger the jump in house prices.

In London, wages have actually fallen...

But have house prices fallen too? Have they hell.

 

 

...though even in distant regions, house prices are still increasing much faster than earnings.

Look at Scotland:

 

 

So while London is distorting the national picture, it’s probably not true to say that there’s no housing crisis outside it.

Owner occupation figures are in freefall

Can't imagine why. But the result is that more households stuck in the private rental sector.

 

 

The people most affected are the young

Which is basically where we came in.

 

 

Anyway, I'm sure all this is fine because the government will be along with its mass building programme to fix all this any day now.

(Spoilers: it won't.)

Jonn Elledge is the editor of CityMetric. He is on Twitter, far too much, as @jonnelledge.

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Joe Anderson: Why I resigned from the Northern Powerhouse Partnership

Liverpool Lime Street station, 2008. Image: Getty.

The Labour mayor of Liverpool has a few choice words for Chris Grayling.

I resigned from the board of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership this week. I just didn’t see the point of continuing when it is now crystal clear the government isn’t committed to delivering the step-change in rail investment in the North that we so desperately need. Without it, the Northern Powerhouse will remain a pipedream.

Local government leaders like me have been left standing at the altar for the past three years. The research is done. The case has been made. Time and again we’ve been told to be patient – the money is coming.

Well, we’ve waited long enough.

The only thing left is for the transport secretary to come up with the cash. I’m not holding my breath, so I’m getting on with my day job.

There’s a broader point here. Rail policy has been like a roller-coaster in recent years. It soars and loops, twisting and turning, without a clear, committed trajectory. There is no consistency – or fairness. When London makes the case for Crossrail, it’s green-lit. When we make the same case for HS3 – linking the key Northern cities – we are left in Whitehall limbo.

Just look at the last week. First we had the protracted resignation of Sir Terry Morgan as Chairman of HS2 Ltd. Just when we need to see firm leadership and focus we have instead been offered confusion and division. His successor, Allan Cooke, said that HS2 Ltd is “working to deliver” services from London to Birmingham – the first phase of the line – from 2026, “in line with the targeted delivery date”. (“In line?”)

Just when HS2 finally looked like a done deal, we have another change at the top and promises about delivery are sounding vaguer. Rumours of delays and cost over-runs abound.

Some would like to see the case for HS2 lose out to HS3, the cross-Pennine east-west line. This is a bit like asking which part of a train is more important: its engine, or its wheels. We need both HS2 and HS3. We are currently left trying to build the fourth industrial revolution on infrastructure from the first.

If we are ever to equip our country with the ability to meet rising customer and freight demand, improve connectivity between our major conurbations and deliver the vision of the Northern Powerhouse, then we need the key infrastructure in place to do that.


There are no shortcuts. Ministers clearly believe there are. The second piece of disappointing news is that officials at the Department for Transport have already confirmed to the freight industry that any HS3 line will not be electrified, the Yorkshire Post reports.

This is a classic false economy. The renaissance of the Liverpool Dockside – now called Superport – is undergoing a £1bn investment, enabling it to service 95 per cent  of the world’s largest container ships, opening up faster supply chain transit for at least 50 per cent  of the existing UK container market. Why squander this immense opportunity with a cut-price rail system?

Without the proper infrastructure, the North of England will never fulfil its potential, leaving our economy lop-sided and under-utilised for another generation. This is not provincial jealousy. Building a rail network that’s fit for purpose for both passenger and freight will remove millions of car journeys from the road and make our national economy more productive. It will also be cleaner, cheaper and more reliable. Our European neighbours have long understood the catalytic effect of proper connectivity between cities.

Similarly, linking together towns and key cities across the North of England is a massive prize that will boost growth, create jobs and provide a counterweight to Greater London, easing pressures on the capital and building resilience into our national economy.

To realise this vision, we need the finance and political commitment. Confirmation that the government is pushing ahead with HS3 – as well as HS2 – is now sorely needed.

With Brexit looming and all the uncertainly it brings in its wake, it is even more pressing to have clarity around long-term investment decisions about our critical infrastructure. Given the investment, the North will seize the chance.

But until ministers are serious, I have a city to run.

Joe Anderson is the elected Labour mayor of Liverpool.