It’s depressing, that at twenty-five, one of the most essential news areas for me is the property market. I could feasibly wait a good few years before saddling myself with the mortgage and a commitment of longer than twelve months, but in my own perverse way, not being able to do it makes me all the more desperate to.
I just can’t help wishing the arse would fall out of the housing market, and then I feel guilty about my property-owning friends and the impact it would have on them. In the course of this year I will move on to a considerable whack of a salary, and even with both of us in good and stable jobs, we’re still miles off the pace. We were offered out current flat the other day for quarter of a million, but we just don’t have it, not even the deposit.
In the meantime, it’s getting worse before it gets better. I find it reprehensible that so many idiots would put themselves on the verge of bankruptcy just to have the front-and-back door, brand new Magnet kitchen lifestyle. It’s hard to maintain sympathy with Scott from Croydon:
‘It has affected what holiday we will choose to go on,’ says Scott. ‘And we are definitely not saving money, nor treating ourselves in the way we would have done if our mortgage payments had been lower.’
I guess my working class roots still rise up like bile in the throat when I hear something like this, such a sense of entitlement. Don’t they know how many people would willingly sacrifice swanky holidays and overpriced nights out to have the security of owning their own house? How many people can’t afford to do any of the above, and then those who try to have it all an destroy their credit rating and often families in the process? Nothing puts a strain on the old 2.4 children homestead like having it repossessed!
This is the biggest test of my capitalist principles (this and socialised medicine anyway). It seems the bubble will burst and the first-time buyers like myself will get a look in eventually, but at what cost to so many others? You can say screw their irresponsibilty, or damn the banks and building societies rubbing their hands with glee at another sale and small fortune in fees, caring not a jot that one fluctuation in the market could leave these customers on the verge of bankruptcy? So what’s the answer – regulation? I would consider it, were it not for the incompetence of Labour at doing anything more than preserving the middle class and their status. Restrictions on buy-to-let seem sensible, I can’t describe the choking sensation when I listen to taxi drivers talk about the 27 properties they own and get rent from, most of the mortgages paid off, and driving just for something to pass the time. Or multi-millionaires who ‘flip’ properties, making entire towns and commuter belts inaccessible to anyone other than those forced into renting.
There’s a smarter solution somewhere, perhaps it is just the boom and bust cycle, but something has to give eventually. If I was some flake who couldn’t hold a job, or who was too busy trying to ‘find myself’ by travelling the world’s fleapits instead of worrying about getting a deposit together, then perhaps this wouldn’t worry me. But in the face of being forced to move by yet another wanker landlord, I now I’m beyond impatient to no longer be at the mercy of the landowners. I want my own place, dammit.