The Housing Europe Observatory, the Research branch of Housing Europe, presented the 2017 edition of its flagship report ‘The State of Housing in the EU’, the biennial compass of Europe’s housing sector.
Although growth has returned to big parts of our continent, as President Juncker cheered on at his recent ‘State of the Union’ speech, this growth is leaving many behind and our societies are increasingly unequal. Similarly, the recent ‘recovery’ in housing markets is far from benefitting everyone and the state of housing in the European Union today remains critical. The 2017 edition of the ‘State of Housing in the EU’ provides proof that Europe’s housing challenge is far from over:
- Housing has become the highest expenditure for Europeans and overburden rate remains stable at high level, hitting disproportionally harder the poor.
- House prices are growing faster than income in most Member States, while inequality and housing exclusion are mutually reinforcing.
- Territorial divide is alarming, as finding adequate and affordable housing in places where job opportunities are, is increasingly hard.
- As the level of housing construction is still low, especially major cities face a structural housing shortage reinforced by recent waves of migration.
- Political response to Europe’s housing challenge remains poor, a fact reflected in increasing levels of homelessness. Only cities, that are at the forefront of the housing crisis, are showing a more prominent role in finding solutions.
Housing Europe President, Cédric van Styvendael commented on the findings of the report: “There is no better indicator than housing to help us do a reality check. Just one month after the ‘State of the Union’ by President Juncker I regret having to deliver the message that Europe’s housing challenge is still prevalent and addressing it requires political will at all levels and investment on what already works on the ground. Housing is no field for sorcerer’s apprentices”.