Gijon (Spain), 10 November 2023 – Prior to the European informal ministerial meeting on housing and urban development scheduled for 13 and 14 November in Gijon, led by the Spanish EU Presidency, Build Europe, the trade association representing European developers and homebuilders, accounting for more than 60% of EU’s homebuilding capacity, has launched its new Manifesto for Housing Affordability. The document and its background note address the housing affordability crisis, identifying its primary causes, spotlighting current and upcoming challenges, and outlining a strategic seven-point policy initiative to restore housing affordability across the European Union.

In a letter to the Spanish Minister of Transport, Mobility, and Urban Agenda, Ms. Raquel Sánchez Jiménez, Build Europe emphasized the urgency for the EU and its Member States to address the core issues exacerbating the housing affordability crisis. These main causes behind housing unaffordability include limited housing supply, rising land prices, increasing construction costs, and high interest rates. If these root causes are not tackled by the European institutions, national governments, as well as by regional and local authorities, the anticipated challenges – such as the EU’s expected population growth to 453.3 million by 2026, a projected median age increase by 4.5 years by 2050, and a surge in migration to the EU due to factors like war, poverty, and climate change – will further strain the housing sector. Build Europe highlighted that addressing and resolving these primary causes of housing unaffordability is not just crucial but imperative to ensure stable, equitable access to housing across the European Union and prevent a potential socio-economic crisis.

Andreas Ibel, president of Build Europe, said: “Our Manifesto leverages insights from experienced developers and homebuilders familiar with our sector’s challenges. We offer practical solutions to address the increasing demand for quality housing that is affordable and emphasise the critical role of private investment to enhance public initiatives. Essential measures such as tax breaks, streamlined building permit processes, and sustainable land use policies can significantly improve housing affordability. We hope our Manifesto will influence the discussions in Gijon next week and guide the policy direction within European Institutions for the next five years

Filiep Loosveldt, Managing Director of Build Europe, said: “We urge Member State ministers to address the housing affordability crisis in Europe and take action now. There’s a call for reduced taxes on real estate and the introduction of targeted aid to promote housing affordability. Our aim is to ensure the supply of a housing that is affordable to all EU citizens and families while transitioning to a greener future. The current Spanish EU presidency should center its efforts on housing affordability”.