But just how many people could this amount of borrowing actually house?
Using the formula £219bn divided by the average cost of a house, multiplied by four (average number of occupants) makes for some interesting reading.
For example, in the north of England, where houses cost just £73,000, this sum could buy more than three million homes in the region, providing residence for 12m people, or more than a fifth of the UK’s population.
In Wales, where a house costs roughly £79,000, this works out to 10.8 million people housed – still a healthy return, you would think. But as you move further south, the picture changes dramatically.
In the south east, £219bn will get you around 1.3m homes, an average cost of £168,000, and in London, where money disappears faster than a weekend train timetable, this amount would not even buy a million homes.
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