61. Viscountess ASTOR
asked the Minister of Health whether officials of his Department are inquiring as to the reasons for the increasing costs of working-class houses; and, if so, to what causes is the continuous rise attributed?
§ Sir K. WOOD
A constant watch is kept by my right hon. Friend's Department upon the trend of house-building prices. An investigation of the reasons for the rise in building costs during the past two and a-half years, which is approximately 11 per cent., shows that a rise of wages accounts for from 2½ per cent. to 5 per cent., according to district, and increases in the prices of materials account for about 4 per cent. The remainder of the rise in costs is probably partly due to the increase in the number of houses let in contracts, and, in my right hon. Friend's opinion, the existence of the subsidy may have contributed something in this direction.
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Is it the intention to do anything to prevent a further increase in the price of building houses?