We’ll be back to regular programming with Henry returning to a (hopefully) sunny London next week, but in the meantime, I’ll be using the newfound platform of Henry’s LinkedIn profile to complain. Enjoy!
Today’s topic: why would anyone bother to buy a house?
The obvious comes to mind: better to pay off your own mortgage rather than your landlord’s, its value will appreciate with time, and you don’t have to live surrounded by eggshell/off-white/cream/vanilla walls for the rest of your life. Note: at least with these standard colours, you can easily find the right paint to conceal the holes you weren’t supposed to put in the wall, scratches from the pet you weren’t supposed to have, and hide windowsill ash-marks from the cigarettes you weren’t supposed to be smoking.
But, with mortgage rates rising higher than the sum of Nadine Dorries’ paychecks since last appearing for work, Zoopla has found that average rents are dipping below mortgages at £1163 p/m, against average mortgage payments at £1285 p/m. For those in the capital, I’ll translate that into figures slightly more soul-destroying (and recognizable): £2053 to rent, £2546 to own. Good luck, fellow Londoners!
So, if it costs more to pay off a mortgage, the total value of new mortgages goes up yearly, and you’ll inevitably only be able to afford something in Zone 86 (Bolton?); why on earth would you buy, instead of renting?
Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer.
Most renters have probably, like me, put their details into mortgage calculators to get an idea of what, if anything, they could buy. My wincing at the calculators’ results is presumably shared by millions across the UK. But this is where older generations misinterpret the younger generations: most of us want to buy, but have begrudgingly accepted that this is simply an unlikely scenario to find ourselves in.
The solution? You’re not going to believe this. Make sure you’re sitting down…
Build more homes.
Build cheap, build tall, build dense. Build small homes. Build bigger homes for the small homers to move into. Build them out of cardboard, build them out of marble – it doesn’t matter. We are so very far from supply outpacing demand that, with enough massing and density to allow for lower unit prices, they will undoubtedly be sold.
The message from the renters to the homeowners (the NIMBY minority – I know most of you nice), is this: do not stand in the way of change. The future is rapidly advancing towards us, and the future is tall and affordable. You were allowed an easy path onto the housing ladder, do not kick out that ladder from beneath you. If you don’t like the style of a development – engage with the developer (or, a company like CCP representing them). Tell them that nobody wants the style of development being proposed, but if the aesthetics fit in with the neighborhood, perhaps you’d all support it. Chances are, they’ll listen.
Rant = over. Thanks for reading!
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