Housing markets ‘have substantial effects on fertility’

If current housing trends are maintained, fertility may fall even further, a new report warns.

The Adam Smith Institute has published a new report which argues that high house prices prevent a generation of people from having children and delay people starting a family until later in life.

The report shows that although rising house prices increase fertility amongst existing homeowners, they have negative effects amongst renters.

Figures show that between 1996 and 2014 a 10 per cent increase in house prices resulted in a 4.9 per cent decrease in births among renters and a 2.8 per cent increase in births to homeowners.

The Adam Smith Institute predicted that high house prices stopped 157,000 children from being born between 1996 and 2014, and warns that this trend will get worse without Whitehall taking ‘radical action’.

Andrew Sabisky, author of the report, said: “The housing crisis is a well-known immediate economic problem, but this report showcases how it is wrecking the lives of the people of this country, preventing them from having the children they want to have. This private tragedy will, in the long-run, entail massive knock-on costs to public finances.

“Housing market liberalisation is something the government should do anyway, but this report outlines a new set of pressing reasons for it to act.”

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