You think United Kingdom has a housing problem???
Hear about my home country, Spain:
Between 1998-2008 more than 500.000 new homes were build each year, yet the prices grew an astonishing 150% (173% in Madrid between 1996 and 2003). Now that the bubble has bust we have more than two million vacant houses that have never being inhabited, yet nobody can afford to pay the ridiculous prices with shrinking salary wages, increased taxes, and exorbitant bank mortgages. People all around Spain are being evicted from their houses with no possibility to get rid of their mortgages (In Spain if you get evicted you still have to pay your mortgage, even if the bank sold or rented your house to another family). Unemployment rate are at record high, 28%, and even worse, people between 18 and 35 unemployment rate is as high as 53%!
It is the wet dream of a neo-liberal, a market that increases its prices no matter how low is the demand. It is the nightmare of the working class, a vital asset that keeps getting more expensive no matter what.
Spain is chock-full of ghost towns, futuristic, brand-new, expensive ghost towns.