Book review: Debunking the myth that property will make you free

Rowan Moore’s convincing argument for how Britain fell into its current housing crisis will make familiar reading on this side of the water

In the West, the idea that private property will make you wealthy and free is foundational

Few issues in Ireland are as politically divisive as housing. Since their trough in 2013, property prices nationally have increased by 125 per cent. The latest figures show that 12,827 people in the state are homeless – the highest levels ever recorded.

Against this backdrop, the claims by Sinn Féin that it can ‘fix’ the housing crisis have helped catapult it from the political wilderness to being the largest party in the Dáil.

The two essential problems in Britain’s housing market that Rowan Moore diagnoses in his book Property will be drearily familiar to Irish readers: the provision of publicly funded social housing is declining as the prospect of home ownership becomes increasingly remote.