The economist who came up with one of the most widely used figures for the number of new homes needed each year has questioned the continued reliance on her research.
Dame Kate Barker wrote an influential report in 2004, while a member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, that said 233,000 to 285,000 new houses were needed in England each year.
But while the report has been gathering dust deep in the Houses of Parliament, the numbers are still relied upon whenever the housing shortage and problems with supply are mentioned.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, she cautioned against just focusing on the supply issue and said more also needed to be done to improve rental standards and to free up land.
She said: “I’m amazed people still use my numbers. Sometimes I think I’ve been responsible for a narrative which makes supply too important.
“Supply is important but things do change.
“One of the reasons household supply has been very tight for the past decade is because we have had very strong net migration – it would be ludicrous to deny it – and if that changes it will change the balance between supply and demand.”