I know, I know, we’re not supposed to say this here. But by advocating the need for real terms fall in house prices he is right. Grant was twisting and turning trying to avoid using the term ‘falls in house prices’ on R4 just now, but that’s what his house price stability means. His example is house prices rising by 2% while earnings increase by 4%.
No bad thing – so spit it out next time Grant.
More remarkably, Grant says to Sky News that ‘A house is a home not an investment’ – exactly the stance he attacked Labour for just a year ago.
It would be bad for the economy to have any sudden drops in house prices, so the aim of gradual reductions I’d say is about right.
Interestingly, Grant wants a housing market that is more ‘rational’ than it currently is. I thought Conservatives were supposed to believe that free markets are necessarily ‘rational’ and it’s state interference which makes them work in ‘irrational’ ways?
It’s good to see a Conservative minister coming round to a left-wing way of thinking.
This aim requires considerable intervention in the housing market by the government. What do the right-wingers in his party think about this? Interfering seriously in a private market and pushing down the value of people’s homes?
Labour could look to make cheap political capital out of arguing that this is an attack on homeowners and homeownership, as Grant did in opposition.
Or Labour could welcome this. I argued here that one of Labour’s future principles should be intervention in the housing market to prevent further excessive house price increases. We should take Grant at his word and challenge him to tell us how he will intervene in the mortgage and housing markets to make this a reality.
He’ll still find that pretty tough to answer.