There is much gnashing of teeth over reports that home ownership has fallen to mid eighties levels and our "Yute" will never own a property of their own and will have to rent (or be subsidised by those who own properties, more like) in their desperate struggle to climb the greasy pole.
Let me be blunt. Home ownership is not a right, it is a privilege, born of hard work, self discipline and responsibility.
I know of only three reasons why anyone would purchase a property.
1. To speculate, hoping the price of the mortgage each month will eventually be outstripped by capital gains and on sale, a tidy profit will be made
2. To rent to others, hoping the price of the mortgage each month will eventually be outstripped by rental income, and a tidy profit will be made
3. To own the house you live in outright, thus reducing your monthly outgoings and allowing you to enjoy the fruits of your labour or work less/retire.
In all honesty, I have used all three reasons to build my tiny little property empire. It now provides income, allowing freedom and choice. Property is GOOD, for any of the reasons above because it gives options.
Grant Shapps is currently promoting ways that more can own property, all of them useless of course, because he does not understand WHY people buy property, just that they should. Those who bought their council houses at knock down values in the eighties didn't plant rose bushes and tend their gardens. They sold the bastards at market rates and bought cheap villas in Spain with the profits. He recommends living on a houseboat (expect stamp duty on marinas anytime soon)
Mortgages have never been cheaper, the average UK wage is £25K and the average house price is £168,000. Meaning a couple on average wage can buy a less than average starter home. They can borrow 2.5 times earnings and they are on the ladder. Where's the problem?
Ah yes. They can't afford to live where they want to live. Hoxton. Islington. Camden Lock. Well, to be frank, neither can I. So I don't. No penthouse in Mayfair for me.
In honesty, the British model of buying a property aged 21 and retiring at 65 with a mansion is a good one. It promotes hard work, focus, responsibility (hence most kids can't get a property) but it is also extremely lucrative for the State. Endless stamp duties, soon to be announced land taxes, insurance taxes, income tax, capital gains taxes and inheritance taxes, plus reduced pensions and care home fees make home ownership the goal of any large state (unless you intend to enslave your voters, then build council homes). Most Europeans don't own a house until their parents are dead. They never expect to move.
So how do we help people own property, whilst starving the State? Quite simple. Demand building land. We live on 13% on the UK land mass. All of us. The rest is owned by 166,000 families and has been since they took it from us, using violence. The Normans. Half of it is not even registered with the Land Registry because it will never be bought or sold. Or taxed.
Reform land ownership and set the people free. Not communism, I don't call for land redistribution, but I do call for an equal chance for all of us to own the soil beneath our feet. If Grant Shapps wants to keep Government pension costs down, he needs to give our children the chance to acquire wealth through property. It certainly worked for those now residing on the Costa del Sol.