In the years before the economic crisis across the UK, as well as during the recession years, house prices continued to rise enormously in London. This is something that affects all those living in the UK, but mostly young people as they are the largest group to yet climb onto the housing ladder.
Despite the economic crisis, house prices nation-wide have not fallen dramatically. Today the average age of the first time buyer is thirty nation-wide, and in London the figure is considerably higher. By 2018 it is predicted that the average house price in London will be ?600,000. Research also shows, that without parental help the average age of being able to afford a home is forty.
Whichever figures are taken into account, the average age of being able to buy a property has become something that government needs to continue tackling. The figure nation-wide may be an average of thirty, but this means that there are people considerably older than that still unable to afford a home. In Britain, property ownership has become a cultural norm and a generation of Britons now face not being able to afford homes during their twenties.
With house prices beginning to recover across the country and house prices in London being largely unaffordable, the problem is only likely to get worse. This, coupled with the fact that wages are not rising in line with house price increases, means buying a home is more difficult today that it was for many people’s parents.
For the next and current generation of people in this country – not being able to afford their own homes is not a sign of progress. As the party which championed home ownership, this is something we should continue to tackle in whatever ways possible. Indeed, the government has acted to help first time buyers, with the help to buy scheme. Although this is the right kind action from the government many warn that this policy is also going to further create a housing bubble, meaning more expensive houses. The principle of the policy may be right the method may be wrong.
There are many reasons why house prices in the UK are so high, whether it be because of low interest rates pre-crash fueling higher house prices or the fact that demand for housing is completely outstripping supply. Indeed, reasons that I’m sure are beyond my own knowledge to explain them as a politics student.
For these reasons, the cost of housing and supply of it is something that is not being efficiently tackled by this government. Undoubtedly it has other issues to deal with, but the fact that its policy on housing could be making the long-term situation worse is worrying. As a young person myself I certainly do not want to be too old before I am able to buy my own home, especially with London’s house prices. It is also important, as the government has also said previously, that people should be prepared to move where the work is. Even though I undoubtedly agree with this, to move people also need a home to live in and a more affordable housing market would I am sure go a long in helping with this. As conservatives home ownership is something we should continue on championing for everyone in this country.