November 12, 2015 / 7:16 PM / 4 years ago

Bank of England chief economist says UK housing market "broken"

LONDON, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Britain’s housing market is “broken”, the Bank of England’s chief economist Andy Haldane said on Thursday, in an unusually forthright criticism of the lack of new homes being built.

Haldane said Britain needed to build around 200,000 new homes a year, and that its failure to build much more than half that — largely due to a lack of new public housing — had caused prices to rocket.

“The UK housing market is broken,” he said at a meeting hosted by Britain’s Trades Union Congress. “There is a chronic and accumulated imbalance between demand and supply, and it is that which is sending skyward - and has sent skyward - house prices.”

Asked separately whether the BoE should print money to fund government infrastructure projects, Haldane said there was a good case for more infrastructure investment but that the government could borrow very cheaply from financial markets. (Reporting by David Milliken; editing by Ralph Boulton)

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