The government has published figures backing claims made by housing minister Dominic Raab about the impact of immigration on prices – but revealed that it is far from the biggest factor.
Raab told The Sunday Times that immigration had been responsible for a 20 per cent rise in house prices over 25 years.
The rising star Brexiter told the paper he had written to the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), urging it to consider the negative effects of new arrivals on housing demand as well as the positive economic benefits of immigration.
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But he was challenged on his use of statistics by The UK Statistics Authority. Ed Humpherson, head of the watchdogs Office for Statistics Regulation, said: “Where analysis is quoted in public debate, the UK Statistics Authority believes it is essential that it be made equally available to all.
Independent fact-checking organisation Full Fact said it had been unable to find any evidence in the public domain to support his comments, and criticised him for using information that was not freely available.
But today the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government made the figures public. They show that Raab was right – since 1991, immigration has caused house prices to rise by 21 per cent.
However, that was dwarfed by the impact of income growth, which has prompted the cost of a home up by 150 per cent, equivalent to £80,000.
Meanwhile, total population growth in England has pushed up prices by 32 per cent.