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The sky is falling, the sky is falling! [Aug. 8th, 2005|09:41 pm]
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According to the BBC the rate of rise of house prices has dropped to 5.4%.

Oh. How. Terrible.

How? Will? Home? Owners? Ever? Survive?

Come on! Average house price rise in 2004 was 17%. How much did the average salary go up by? 2%, if that?

[User Picture]From: eiren
2005-08-08 08:47 pm (UTC)
Apparently the UK is now the most expensive place to live, by the standard of cost of living to wage ratio. The standard increase to wages, compared to the increase in cost of living doesn't even compare.

There's one point that illustrates it perfectly.

How many people do you know, between the ages of 18-30, that actually own or have their own property?

Most of my friends live with housemates, or still live with parents. Such is the incredible cost of living in this country.

What can you do though?
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[User Picture]From: imdaewen
2005-08-08 08:56 pm (UTC)
Yeah with four people in the same accomodation you will need to be taking home 1K per month to live reasonbly comfortably.
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[User Picture]From: stephenbooth_uk
2005-08-08 08:58 pm (UTC)
Lobby councillors and MPs to have more low cost social housing built. Here in Birmingham there is a massive need for low cost social housing yet the majority of the accomodation being built is high cost 'Luxury Apartments', despite the fact that most of what has been built so far is standing empty.

Getting young adults into low cost social housing will not only directly provide more housing at the rental level but will also free up the market for larger owner-occupier market as it will allow the older generations to trade down as they will no longer have their adult kids living with them.

I don't know anyone under 30 who owns their home. Those people I know over 30 but under 40 who do tend to have had a heavy input of cash from their parents, a few just managed to get really high paying jobs or have a spouse in a really high paying job.
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From: trodders
2005-08-08 08:51 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but how many people can you actually say own their own places.
Just starting out on the property ladder can be the most frustrating of experiences.

Even if the rate has dropped, the UK surely must be one of - if not the most - expensive places in the world to live. Especially in London.
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[User Picture]From: stephenbooth_uk
2005-08-08 09:05 pm (UTC)
Errrrmmmm, I was being ironic. Accomodation in this country is insanely expensive and has been getting worse for some time. House prices need to flatten out and wages need to catch up.

I think building low cost social housing (and affordable medium cost for that matter) is the way to achieve this. A big collapse in the house market wouldn't help the economy but a slow bleed out of the demand from the bottom end of the market (along with the freeing up of the market at the upper-middle and upper end as I mentioned in a comment above) would help a great deal. We have a lot of people who are, on paper at least, very rich but who are very cash poor. They have a lot of equity in their home but it's tied up there and all their spare cash is tied up in making mortgage repayments.
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[User Picture]From: stainsteelrat
2005-08-08 09:05 pm (UTC)
When I saw the gap between inflation and house prices 10+ years ago I was hoping the government would step in and cap it somehow. Better this than the situation now where people have to financially cripple themselves to consider buying a house.

I despair of UK governments...
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[User Picture]From: stephenbooth_uk
2005-08-08 09:10 pm (UTC)
I think a big part of the problem stems from when councils were encouraged to sell off council housing but were given strong disincentives to (or even barred from) investing the income in building new council housing to replace the accomdation sold.
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[User Picture]From: dandelion
2005-08-08 09:09 pm (UTC)
I hope by the time I come to buy anything, they'll have dropped again. I can't even think about buying property in my hometown- even the very cheapest prices are not much below the national average. Next door, they're selling a "three bedroom" (it's two with a boxroom..) semi for £300,000.
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[User Picture]From: stainsteelrat
2005-08-08 09:23 pm (UTC)
I hope for the sake of those with houses they don't fall! Otherwise we have the negative equity problem again.
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[User Picture]From: holographic
2005-08-08 09:34 pm (UTC)
the bbc magazinehas an article about 'affordable housing' today - I have to say the designs they featured are some of the most hideous things I have ever seen.
I want to be able to afford a normal looking house, not something that's supposed to look like a plectrum :(
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[User Picture]From: stephenbooth_uk
2005-08-08 09:48 pm (UTC)
This is why a lot fo designers and architects need to be hunted down and killed painfully. We've been building houses for hundreds of years, it's perfectly possible to build and normal looking house or block of flats and make it a nice place to live for very reasonable prices. There's even enough variation that you don't need to build thousands of identical houses. I saw a show on one of the documentary channels that was about low cost social housing new build on the continent (in Germany I think). The builder had 4 or 5 basic designs and a couple of dozen variations that could be applied to each one and by mixing them up (plus using different colour schemes) they managed to build a housing estate where no house was identical to the houses immediately surrounding it.
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[User Picture]From: nicnac
2005-08-08 10:32 pm (UTC)
Just to play devil's advocate... wasn't it the Conservatives who brought in the whole obsession with owning your own property? In places like Singapore nobody expects to, prices there are so ridiculous that most people never will.
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[User Picture]From: stephenbooth_uk
2005-08-09 06:03 am (UTC)
It was under the Conservatives that council house sales (the 'Right to buy') came in. The Conservatives also prevented councils from using the money raised to build more council housing, prevented them from building more council housing full stop.
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[User Picture]From: lilagrubb
2005-08-08 10:40 pm (UTC)
Yeah. Why do house prices need to rise more than the rate of inflation anyway? Not that it can be sustained indefinately - there has to come a point when houses just don't sell because they are too expensive for anyone to afford. The massive rise in house prices doesn't really help those of us who own only one house, that we live in. If we sell, the proceeds will only buy another house. The only people who really benefit from the rise in house prices are people who have invested money buying more than one house. And estate agents.
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[User Picture]From: stephenbooth_uk
2005-08-09 06:09 am (UTC)
There's no real need for prices to rise at all, prices only rise when there is a scarcity of a resource. Build more housing and the scarcity goes away, if a vendor demands more money the buyer can tell them to get stuffed as there's someone else down the road who will sell for a reasonable price.
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