In this note, we argue that the Government could use the Planning Bill to incorporate net migration in housing estimates in a more transparent way. This will improve both policy and political debate around housing, not least by highlighting the hypocrisy of those who argue that we should both relax migration controls and build fewer homes.
Following the Chesham & Amersham by-election, the argument has been made that plans to build more houses are being driven largely or even solely by immigration. In the attached note, the Centre for Policy Studies outlines the true extent of this. We found that immigration is responsible for a significant part of housing demand – but that the outdated method the Government is using to calculate housing demand is disguising the true extent, by potentially more than 40,000 homes per year. If we want to increase home-ownership rates and give young people a stake in society it is imperative that the Government has accurate numbers with which to plan.