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Is London really full of normal working people living in million pound houses?

(145 Posts)
Morosky Thu 24-Sep-09 23:21:30

Because Heseltine seems to think there is, he just said so on Question Time.

Who is out of touch me or him?

flashharriet Thu 24-Sep-09 23:25:25

What is the average house price in London? That would give you a good indication.

AJitterbug Thu 24-Sep-09 23:31:18

No, it's not, but I've namechanged for this...............obviously.

Hestletine is a wanker and I didn't watch qt tonight, but I/m guessing what he said, and he does have a bit of a point. London can be extraordinarily expensive.

We live on the upper two floors of a three storey house. There is a small flat on the ground floor. Our maisonette has two large bedrooms and a box room. We bought it for 400k about 4 years ago. The value went up to about k650 at the peak of the market, but it's probably worth little over k500 now. Now, I understand that this is a hell of a lot of money out of London, but here, it has become normal. The ground floor flat in the house has been on the market for k370, if we were to buy the ground floor flat, we would have spent k770, and the converted house would be worth 1 million, someone two doors down in an identical house recently accepted an offer for 1.3 million.

DH has a good job, and earns a good wage, but not extraordinarily so. The house is no mansion, but is a nice big 5/6 bedroom house.

A 1million house in London has become far more normal than previously.

I'm waffling. Sorry

ronshar Thu 24-Sep-09 23:35:22

He was answering a Liberal dem issue.
He was making the point that in some places in London the houses are over £1million. He was trying to say that to have a blanket tax at £1million was unfair.

BecauseImWorthIt Thu 24-Sep-09 23:38:28

I live in SW London. Don't know what our house is worth now, in the midst of the recession, but about 2 years ago the house next door sold for £600K.

We're Edwardian semis. 3 bedrooms, but with a loft conversion adding an extra bedroom and ensuite bathroom. Very small back garden.

Nothing unusual about our house - plenty of them around - so I could imagine there will be plenty that are reaching/over £1m.

Morosky Fri 25-Sep-09 00:21:20

I know what he was referring to and I can see that more houses would be hit in London.

My husband had a house in London thatwas worth 1.7 million when bought, as Heseltine described it was just terrace but it was a terrace a few doors down from Harrods. No one needs to live there and I suspect no norml working people live there.

If normal houses go for over a million we need a property crash

onebatmother Fri 25-Sep-09 00:29:43

I think that although London house prices are insane, and many people of, say, 50, live in houses which are worth, say, £700-800K abnd which they couldn't possibly afford had they not bought 20 years ago while the area was less salubrious, £1m houses are in a different league. Most people who live in houses worth that much are properly wealthy.

kickassangel Fri 25-Sep-09 02:10:39

i think there are sufficient numbers of people in london & other busy cities, where they may well be living in a house worth 1m, due to having bought several years ago. to impose a much higher tax on those people may well price them out of their own homes.

1 m sounds like a lot, but it really doesn't buy a whole lot of house & anyone who's been in a family house for more than 10 years could be hit by this.

greenday Fri 25-Sep-09 05:05:14

Yes, most Londoners live in million pound houses that are converted into flats!!!

foxinsocks Fri 25-Sep-09 06:48:00

no, I don't think so

we are in london, have most of our friends in london and I can safely say that no-one who is living in a £1m+ house is on an average wage unless they have had a huge inheritance at some stage or downscaled a high powered city/legal job!

the tories have always been out of touch with this sort of thing (I wonder whether it's because there are lots of people in the tories who have inherited wealth)

foxinsocks Fri 25-Sep-09 06:54:23

though I suppose it depends how you define normal working people.

vinblanc Fri 25-Sep-09 07:04:46

What is a normal working person?

Is that different from a hard working person with career potential?

artichokes Fri 25-Sep-09 07:08:55

I live in London and our house is worth about £900k. DH and I both got on the property ladder (seperatley) in the mid-90s when we bought small flats. Neither ofvus come from posh backgrounds - our mothers were teachers and our dads had good but not amazing jobs. However both of us were given small downpayments by our parents (20k each). After that the property Market rocketted and by 2003 our flats and both trippled in price. We sold them, moved in together here and since we bought thisbhouse it has increased in price by about 70% (we have improved it with money I inherited when my parents died). So to sum up we are pretty normal and are nearly in the position you describe. Many of our friends are too. It's a result of the property boom happening just after many of our generation got on the first rung of the property ladder.

EldonAve Fri 25-Sep-09 07:10:55

I am in SW London
There are a lot of £1M+ houses around here
An average terrace is £600-800K so the slightly bigger ones tend to break through the million mark

artichokes Fri 25-Sep-09 07:12:39

I should add that our house is very normal despite it's price tag - 3 bed Victorian terrace with a tiny patio garden. That shows how crazy London prices are.

CybilLiberty Fri 25-Sep-09 07:16:25

I'm in a £600k house and there is no way on God's earth we could be described as 'Super Rich'. My house sounds like your BecauseI'm worthit.It's the area that bumps the price up, it has nothing to do with income.

Millarkie Fri 25-Sep-09 08:23:11

There must be a number of pensioners who bought their houses quite a while ago who are now cash-poor but have houses worth a million. Dh's parents house was about 45k when they bought it, and it must be around 900k now, they certainly don't have spare cash to pay extra tax because their house has appreciated so much.

Persephoponce Fri 25-Sep-09 08:29:44

Our house is worth £650k and we are NOT remotely rich. We are lucky, I suppose, as we bought a heap in a crackhead area for £100k 12 years ago (scraped it together by hook or by crook) and sold it for £600k 8 years later, as the area just went through the roof property wise.
I know of other 'luck' stories like this. I also know plenty of older people who bought their little cottage in Nowheresville 30 years ago and it is now worth a million and on one of the most desirable roads in London etc.

I also know professionals in their 30s on bloody good money who are sharing rented flats in London. In fact, I know loads more renters and flat sharers than I do home owners in my age group. Getting on the property ladder is impossible in London.

The whole situation is fucked up in London and something has to be done about it. The super rich should be the first to pay, yes, but it's no good the rest of us shirking all responsibility...

wilbur Fri 25-Sep-09 08:49:38

I know a number of people who, because we are in our early 40s and have lucked out with property price rises and gentrification of a previously unsmart area, find themsleves living in houses that are worth far more than their salaries would suggest. Dh and I would never be able to buy our house on our combined income if we were starting out now. Our postman recently sold his mother's house (she had lived there for 35 years and it's a very nice terraced 3 bed house but no mansion) for £710k. So yes, there are quite a few people in that situation. Having said that, it is not nearly as prevalent as Hestletine thinks - he is basing his assumptions on some dinner parties he's been to in Islington where there are a few streets where every terraced house is worth over £1 million. But there are pockets of it, and it's unfair when the media illustrate their "million pound house" stories with pictures of huge Surrey mansions that are worth £5 million. There are a lot of houses that fall into that bracket that do not have gold taps and swimming pools.

morningpaper Fri 25-Sep-09 08:56:09

artichokes - you are a classic Tory 'customer' there though, because you wouldn't be where you are without inherited money (something else we should get rid of wink)

I don't think "normal working people" are likely to inherit large sums of money

sarah293 Fri 25-Sep-09 08:59:16

Message withdrawn

susie100 Fri 25-Sep-09 09:01:52

Not lots of people but a fairly normal terraced family home with a small garden in SW London (zone 2/3) is easily pushing a million. The Lib Dems used the example of people in their £30mn mansions well there is a big difference here isn't there?

What will they think of next? I think tax should be regionally weighted. £1mn in Norfolk is very different to £1mn in London in terms of the house it buys you.

Morning paper - do you not want to leave anything to your children then? Why should a family who have saved and invested in a property for example and sacrificed going on holiday etc not be able to pass that on to their chidren?

alwayslookingforanswers Fri 25-Sep-09 09:03:20

MP - my parents inherited a fair wad of cash from my Grandparents when they passed away. My gran never worked, my Granddad worked as a cleaner on the railways. But after he died it turned out he'd stashed money away all his life, and had numerous life inusurance policies taken out as well. It does happen sometimes to "normal working people" (ok admittedly not very often - but it can happen).

Thought I suspect probably not so often these days

AvengingGerbil Fri 25-Sep-09 09:21:50

always, my grandad (worked on the shop floor in the co-op selling brushes) saved all his life to leave us an inheritance. But he had a stroke and spent five years in a nursing home so there was nothing left. We didn't care, but it broke his heart.

I'm encouraging my parents to spend and enjoy the money they slaved for while they have their health. Inherited wealth is iniquitous.

alwayslookingforanswers Fri 25-Sep-09 09:23:56

Avenging - admittedly there wasn't much cash left (was just under the maximum amount where you don't have to pay for care) - but the life insurance policies! Just as they thought they'd found the last one, they'd find another, and another, and another, was a horrifing amount of peperwork to sort through with them all.

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