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Luke Barratt @lukewbarratt
, 10 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Tory housing minister Dominic Raab has claimed, not for the first time, that immigration pushes up house prices. Here's a thread on why that's not true…
Raab claims that immigration has a demand-side effect on immigration, which is on the surface a common-sense view.

If there are more people, there'll be more competition for homes and prices will rise.
According to The Sunday Times, Raab was told by civil servants that data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows that immigration pushed up house prices 20% b/w 1991 and 2016.
I can't find anything on the ONS website about this, and according to its policy, it publishes all the statistics it produces online.

I've asked the ONS and the government what statistics Raab was referring to.
The evidence we do have is that immigration generally causes house prices to *fall* not rise.
A study done by Filipa Sa of Cambridge University in 2011 *using ONS data* found that when immigrants move into an area, richer people tend to leave, pushing prices down.

Sa estimates that 1% immigration reduces house prices by 1.7%.
Immigrants to the UK are also statistically far less likely to be homeowners (42%) than UK-born (69%), and so they don’t compete on a large scale to buy homes.
It is possible that in aggregate, immigration does increase house prices somewhat.

But even if it is as much as 20% in 25 years, house prices have grown 350% overall in that time, so it's a pretty minor factor.
Plus, Raab's calculation compares our current situation with one in which we had 0 net immigration over 25 years.

That level could never be achieved even if it was desirable, so the 20% figure isn't measuring anything believable even if it is accurate.
Finally - and Raab does concede this - immigrants make up a large part of the home-building workforce.

Without them, we'd have built far fewer homes in the last 25 years.
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