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House prices in London are a disaster(31 Posts)
What irks me the most is smug middle class people who only got on the ladder due to rich parents looking down on others like people from my background who've no choice. It is disgusting. What is the acceptable level for hp to reach then if now 500k average? £1 million? £10 million? At a certain level it really does not matter anymore they may as well cost billions.
We need a change in tax law which penalises foreign investment in the form of banking money by buying London apartments and leaving them empty for years.
I say that as a 'smug' middle class git who has watched her house in London go up in value by over 50 percent in a few years. But it's all relative - it's still a little terrace and we still need to live somewhere while we both work in London. And we may be property rich but as 2 public sector workers our relative income against cost of living is much lower than it was a few years ago.
I have huge sympathy for the younger generation. Yes I have helped my dc and I won't apologise for that. They still struggle even wih help and they all have good jobs.
It is an impossible situation for many.
I agree prices are now at ridiculous levels.
But don't assume everyone who bought is from smug middle class families - DH and I are both from very working class backgrounds, both worked hard to get good professional jobs and we scrimped and saved a deposit for over 10 years before buying, we have never had any help from either set of parents (in fact I often help my parents out).
I have heard so many times about how much sympathy certain people have for the younger generation. The problem is sympathy alone won't deliver secure quality and affordable housing. It is like politically we are supposed to accept having no quality of life and simply shrug it off because we were born at the wrong time, into the wrong background. I have what I believe would qualify for the imprimatur of a good professional job, but even if I were miraculously able to save 80% of my take home pay I wouldn't be able to afford anything decent. And I do think it is accelerating the disdain that a lot of people in this society feel to anyone who is not their DC. I heard a middle class middle aged deposit provider to adult DC openly say "I don't care about anyone else's children"
I'm in my 30s and a Londoner, and about half my friends have had help from parents to buy, but half of us didn't, including DH and me. We're from very poor backgrounds, both grew up on council estates and lived in shared flats for over a decade and went without a lot to be able to save a deposit. In a way it's been easier for us because neither of us grew up in a bog standard terraced house, and we have no fear of council estates, so buying ex-council wasn't an issue, and we've both grown up in flats without gardens which many people wouldn't consider to be decent housing.
It is getting a bit crazy out there now. I live in a unfashionable part of sw London that is starting to boom as those that would have bought in Clapham and Balham are priced out of and moving in. I wouldn't pay what my new neighbours have just forked out for what is actually a smaller house than mine.
Is it because people from other countries (not resident here) are managing to buy property more cheaply than people who live here? Is this the cause of it?
If so I think something ought to be done to stop that.
We don't live in London, we are very provincial and live in a very shoddy little town which no one in their right mind would choose to invest in, however prices are on the up due to the overflow effect from the very trendy town nearby.
We don't own our house; my parents bought it when they had some inherited money. It's pure luck that it took us out of the rented sector.
I don't look down on those who rent and can't buy - I feel utterly sympathetic towards them as that was us for many years.
I had inherited money to buy with but I do live in zone 4 in SE London where you can still buy flats for £200k and houses for £300k. Friends who have bought live in areas like this, others rent in posh areas like Belsize Park.
What irks me the most is smug middle class people who only got on the ladder due to rich parents looking down on others like people from my background who've no choice. It is disgusting.
Genuine question, who looks down on you? How do they show this contempt?
MY fil and sil both have houses in South East London, they have lived there all their lives and are working class ( my sil is a Nursery Nurse on a very low wage).They were just fortunate to have bought their homes years ago, if they hadn't then they wuld probably have been forced to leave London where they have always lived.
I definitely qualify as floating in the smug middle class people who only got on the ladder due to rich parents circles that you're talking about, although I think your view of the reality is very warped.
Our 'rich' parents are all property rich, they don't have bundles of money strewn about the place. Almost all of my friends' parents come from working class or lower middle class backgrounds, and mostly still do these kinds of jobs. They've just benefitted hugely from the property boom in the last 25 years and when my parents retire and downsize, will be able to afford to help me and my siblings to buy.
As a result of this, I don't think we look down on anybody. We all appreciate the ridiculousness of the situation and how it affects everybody. We are currently still living in shared flats trying to save the rest of the deposit.
What I'm trying to get across is that these smug people are really just trying to make the best of a really shit situation, in the same way I'm sure anybody would. It's hardly criminal, and much less so than the way foreign investment in London property is working currently.
I am a homeowner in London with no aid from rich parents, we bought a flat, but not that cheaply about 7 years ago and were able to sell and buy in what was a much cheaper area. You're right though it's bollocks, my house in South London (not a posh area I hasten to add) has more than doubled in 5 years, but unless I move out of London I don't benefit from that at all. Prices are ridiculous and even in the bits of London that people never really wanted to live in (where I am now and love!). My old 1 bedroom in Hackney just resold for £475k.
I'm really not aware of anyone who was able to buy in London looking down at people who haven't.
Some are pretty pleased with themselves, even smug. Some feel pretty guilty about their opportunity. Some worry about the future of the city. But I have not encountered anyone who actually looks down on those who cannot afford to buy.
jealousy gets you nowhere. Even if these 'smug' people do exist and know of your existence.
London is insane. Fortunately it is not compulsory to live there.
spending your life raging about things you cannot change is a waste.
I understand your frustration completely but your anger is misdirected. I have a 5 bed house in London. No help from family at all. DH and I not in amazingly high paid careers. We stretched ourselves to the limit 15 years ago to buy a 1 bed flat, stretched again to buy a 3 bed in 2005, extended in 2012 to give 2 more bedrooms.
Not smug at all. Relieved we did it when we did but sad to know my children will not be able to live in the area they grew up. We'll need to sell up to retire.
Focus on lobbying for more restrictions on foreign ownership and buy to let.
Recently a colleague who has their own and stands to inherit vast amounts of property all thanks to a parent who bought them up when they were cheap said in a deeply patronising tone that "there will never be affordable housing in London" and " there would be too many knock on effects of a fall in prices". In other words they don't want their inheritance and unearned equity to go up in smoke so those doing the same job but struggling in poor rented accommodation should just suffer on so they can have gilded lives. SW London itself which is nearby is full of smug folk sitting sipping lattes during most people's working week talking about their underground basement and knocking through the loft, and they are just deeply irritating people. If it is ok for HP to go up 80% why isnt it ok for them to collapse by the same amount so the 900k shoeboxes are 180k?
And yes my next move will be out of London. Cannot bear the place. Awful people and no sense of community.
I'm a member of the smug middle classes , it would appear, but didn't have any help buying my house in the sort of zone 4 se London area, my DM was a comprehensive school teacher, and I'm a public sector worker.
Why not take class out of this? It really doesn't help. It's very out of date and the issue is not about class, however much it might once have been, it's about money. They are not the same at all.
There is huge divide between the pretty rich and the rest in London, thanks to it being an international hub. And that has caused increases in the housing market over the last 30 years. My DSis , same background, husband a charity worker, made a fortune because she was able to buy earlier than I was.
So I'm sympathetic to the problem, very, but not to how you express it.
Elfin, you've obviously had a bad experience. I live in a lovely community. We all help each other, just like my home village in the north. We put quite a lot of effort into doing so but it works really well. Two egs, when my DH was unwell abroad, two diff sets of people offered to come over and drive Ds and me back. Dh is supporting a neighbour with terminal cancer, taking him to cafes etc. that's quite apart from the street parties for celebrations etc.
I'm not smug. I recognise that I'm incredibly fortunate. We brought in London 8 years ago with no help from our parents or anyone but I can't imagine how we could do that now. Our house has doubled in price. Public sector pay freeze means my wage has maybe gone up 4% and is worth a lot less these days.
Sadly I had several bad experiences. Renting means it is hard to put down roots in an area and I have had to move countless times. Even when I have been somewhere for a while I found the neighbours distant and just did not want to mix or even speak to me or anyone else. When you go into the local area you don't run into a single person you know. It feels like you just don't exist and feels like a miserable way to live
I think your colleague is an example of a very elite set of folk who own far more property than they know what to do with.
I do have to admit to some resentment towards those who 'buy up' property as a sort of money making effort, when there is apparently so little to go round that's anywhere near affordable.
I guess some people just have far too much money.
Most of us have one house, or flat, and we live in it, and that's that. Or we might have two at a push, if we need somewhere else to stay when we travel or for holidays perhaps or buying a house for our kids if we can stretch to it.
I think that's relatively Ok. But owning four or five properties, when you don't need to, seems greedy.
Being a landlord is one of those contentious occupations and I can see why some do it, it makes sense, they don't get rich on it - but perhaps there ought to be a limit on how much you can own in terms of property.
When you go into the local area you don't run into a single person you know. It feels like you just don't exist and feels like a miserable way to live
Then maybe London is not for you.
I own here but am certainly not smug or middle class. I do not look down on those who cannot afford to live here either.
Depends where you are. We are in London, I'm always bumping into people we know locally or even out of the area slightly. It's a busy area but definitely a community
I agree with you - the house price situation in London is a disaster. It is a disaster because it drives people out, because key, essential workers cannot afford to live here, especially once they wish to be a family.
What is also disastrous is the rental market. Sky high rents and no security of tenure at all, while the hapless tenant pays the owners mortgage, thank you very much. And the tax payer picks up the bill for the increasing numbers forced onto housing benefit at high rents - and the taxpayer pays the landlords mortgage, thank you very much. (disclaimer: I am not blaming or criticising people on housing benefit here)
I suspect that the new constraints on Buy To Let will simply encourage landlords to put rents up to cover it.
A rapid supply of new homes could change the situation - market forces.
And the government needs to stop bollocksing up councils' ability to provide council homes.
I am a home owner - but old enough to have paid what was nevertheless a fortune but an 'affordable' fortune for my first flat in London years ago, and bought my next after the first big crash.
My most recent home has almost doubled in value over the 10 years since I moved in, and I would be happy to see house prices tumble.
But that would be terrible for the people - young people, without property-based inheritances - struggling to pay every penny of a sky-high mortgage for a studio flat bought in the last couple of years and on a mortgage that lasts until they are 70.
But I do not find London unfriendly. I never walk down the road or through our local shopping area without bumping into at least one person I know. I fond people helpful and accepting. But it's hard if you don't feel at home because you have no stable place to call home.
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