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UK housing ‘worst value for money’ of advanced economies, says thinktank

The UK’s “expensive, cramped and ageing” housing stock fares poorly compared with other advanced countries, analysis by a thinktank suggests.

Households are paying more than other countries – but getting less in return, the Resolution Foundation said.

“When it comes to housing, UK households are getting an inferior product in terms of both quantity and quality,” the thinktank said.

The Foundation’s housing outlook used OECD data to compare the UK’s housing issues with other similar economies. It said that while there was “limited cross-national data” on floor space, homes in England had less average floor space per person (38sqm) than many similar countries, including the US (66sqm), Germany (46sqm), France (43sqm) and Japan (40sqm).

The UK’s housing stock is also relatively old, with 38% of homes built before 1946, the report said, compared with around a fifth (21%) in Italy and one in nine (11%) in Spain.

Adam Corlett, principal economist at the Resolution Foundation, said: “Britain’s housing crisis is likely to be a big topic in the election campaign, as parties debate how to address the problems of high costs, poor quality and low security that face so many households.”

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