05 Jul 2023

GBS supports the Build Europe’s G7 initiative: “Access to affordable housing is the keystone of a stable society”

Takamatsu, Kagawa (Japan), 5 July 2023

Ahead of the G7 meeting of urban development ministers that will happen at the end of this week in Japan, Glavbolgarstroy Holding (GBS), as member of Build Europe, association participated in an international press conference with the Presidents of the main EU housing associations to support Build Europe’s initiative “Access to affordable housing is the keystone of a stable society”. The initiative seeks to warn the governments on the global housing crisis and challenges.

The event - lead by Marc Pigeon, President of Build Europe - focused on the pressing emergence of a major social crisis caused by the escalating unaffordability of housing in all G7 countries, leaving many households without viable solutions.

The second highlighted theme was the significant challenge that governments will face as the global population continues to grow and age in the coming years. In light of these concerns, Marc Pigeon proposed a thorough evaluation of the current and anticipated situation, along with the development of a strategic approach to address these challenges. Importantly, Marc Pigeon highlighted that housing cannot be viewed in isolation but must be integrated into a broader global policy and vision.

Marc Pigeon pointed out that the world needs more housing in order to respond to demographic change and the growing migratory flows caused by war, poverty and climate change. He noted that the supply of housing was inadequate and unaffordable, because prices had been rising steadily for over ten years, faster than incomes.

While President Pigeon acknowledged that the subject is complex, the general causes listed below provide a global framework for devising effective solutions tailored to each country:

  1. Lack of building land: the rarer a product, the more expensive it is;
  2. Rising interest rates, which had an immediate impact on the solvency of buyers as well as an additional cost for builders;
  3. The tax burden applied to housing;
  4. Insufficient supply despite population growth;
  5. Insufficient growth in household incomes, with wages not rising as fast as house prices.

“The G7 governments must consider that access to affordable housing is the keystone of a well-balanced society.“, said Pigeon and underlined that the G7 governments must, as a matter of priority, discuss ways and means of resolving the affordable housing crisis and take a step back to prepare for a future that looks even bleaker.