DEAR POLITICIANS AND LANDLORDS,
I’ve just seen the news about the continuing rise in the cost of living, renting and buying a new home, and I feel that there are some things that need to be said.
For a start, I’m not sure whether we can call the rising cost of houses news anymore, because each year, it’s always the same. We all know what is coming, it’s just a matter of how much the price will rise by.
All being well, I should be finishing my degree by the end of May this year, and as you can imagine, I don’t want to be living in my parents’ marital home for the rest of my life. But the way housing costs have been rising, I can’t see any other option.
Let me break it down for you. Come June, I’ll have left university with £27,000 debt from tuition fees, and another £8,500 on top of that for maintenance loans through student finance. To a mortgage broker or a landlord there is nothing appealing about a new graduate weighed down with this much debt, especially in the current climate when jobs in journalism are hard to come by, and freelancing can’t offer a reliable income.
The latest predictions from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors are worrying to anyone, but to a student lookng beyond grduation, it seems that owning a home is going to be nearly impossible, and renting is going to be made that much more difficult too.
Predicted rent rises of 25% by 2022 makes renting a daunting prospect; and once in the rental market – struggling to keep up with these rates of increase and pay off student debt at the same time, it becomes near impossible to move into the ‘home-owner’ market, especially since property prices are predicted to rise by a fifth over the same period.
Of course, the current government has promised to work with developers to build more flats for private rental, and to devise long term ‘family friendly’ tenancy agreements. But is this any different to what we have heard in the past?
Theresa May has promised to make housing more affordable to everyone, but then again, so did her predecessors, Cameron, Brown, Blair and the like. Not only did they promise more houses nationwide, they also promised that the bulk of these would be ‘affordable’. But affordable for whom? Unless you already own a property, or you work in a job which pays big bonuses, who’s going to be able to afford one of these?
Looking at the previous levels of house prices over the years between 2003 and 2015, apart from 2008 and 2012 which saw house prices go down by 5.6% and 1.11% respectively, there have been continual increases in the cost of housing. The largest increase during that time was in 2003, when the cost of buying a house rose by 14.67%; and on average, they’ve been rising by 4.22% each year since. So again, it is a case of failed and broken promises from politicians.
All I’m asking for is an attractive and affordable market, that will allow me and other graduates to get our foot in the door. We’re ready to work the rest of our lives to pay it off, so is that really too much to ask?
The ‘help to buy’ scheme has obviously been set up to help, but for example, if a first house costs £230,000, I’d still have to find the 5% deposit of £11,500 to make the dream a reality, and let’s be honest here, who has that kind of money sitting around, and how is it possible to save that kind of money when you’ve got Student Finance debts to pay off?
DREW (BA JOURNALISM 2017)
[We hope – Ed]