Think tank claims immigration will have big impact on housing demand in UK

Successive Governments in the UK have misled the public over the true extent to which immigration exacerbates the demand for additional housing, a new report claims.

The Department for Communities and Local Government principal projection of future household growth estimates that over the 25 years to 2039 there will be an average increase of 210,000 households a year in England.

Of this 133,000 or 63% will be down to future household formation by the existing population and 77,000 or 37% will be down to future net migration but according to think tank Migration Watch UK this is a major underestimate.

In a new report the think tanks says that the level of immigration on which the principal projection is based is considerably lower than present level. It is based on net migration to England of 170,500 a year yet net migration to England is currently at 300,000 a year and has averaged 200,000 a year over the last 10 years.

It also says that the projections only take account of future migration, and ignore previous migration to England. ‘The existing migrant population in England will also be driving future household formation, indeed, more so because of they have a much younger age profile than the UK born,’ it explains, adding that this has been ‘misleadingly’ described as ‘natural change’ among the existing UK population as a whole rather than as also due to previous migration.

It claims that this means that the true figure of the proportion of household growth in England that is down to immigration, both past and future, is likely to be much larger than 37%.

The report points out that an examination of ONS data over past years shows that, of the additional households created in England between 2005 and 2014, 90% have had a foreign born head of household.

‘We have a major crisis over housing affecting huge numbers of people but especially the young who are finding it ever harder to get onto the housing ladder. Yet the focus of the debate is still entirely on supply,’ said Lord Green of Deddington, chairman of Migration Watch UK.

‘Nobody dares talk about demand and its principal driver – immigration. That has to stop. Our paper breaks new ground in daring to point to this central, if uncomfortable, truth,’ he adde