Debate House Prices


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  • edited 28 February 2020 at 3:55PM
    seradaneseradane Forumite
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    edited 28 February 2020 at 3:55PM
    Cakeguts said:
    What I will say is this. I am seeing an awful lot of entitlement from the younger members in the case of entitlement. They seem to have this idea that they can live exactly where they want to and that housing that they can afford should be provided for them there.  Not only that but they also seem to think that they are entitled to all the other things in life in their 20s and 30s that they see older people who have worked for 40 years have.  They don't seem to want to start at the bottom and they all seem to want "careers" rather than a job.

    I am a "boomer" and i will tell you what boomer children had.  They had black and white television with a maximum of 3 channels.  There were no computers, cars at 18, no mobile phones, no central heating in houses and you walked or got the bus to school.  There were no expensive birthday and Christmas presents or 3 holidays abroad a year.  You were lucky if you got one holiday a year anywhere never mind abroad. I had never flown until I was in my middle 20s because air travel was too expensive.  Fridges, washing machines, cars and televisions were much more expensive compared to earnings than they are now. Many people did not have a washing machine they used the local launderette.   I can still remember the local swimming baths having public baths for people who didn't have a bathroom indoors and who still had outside toilets.  

    Even in the 60s London was too expensive for ordinary people to work in because they couldn't afford the housing so they just didn't take jobs there.  Without the aid of the internet people back then could work out that even with a London salary that was higher than the one they had they would actually be worse off.  I just cannot understand how so many young graduates finish up in London these days on salaries that make them worse off than they would have been staying in their local area when they can much more easily get the information that they need to work this out before they arrive in London.  The only conclusion that I have come to over this is that "real" graduates not the ones from the large number of technical colleges that now call themselves universities can still work out these salary differences and don't go to London if it doesn't add up but the "pretend" graduates those who should never have gone to one of these scam universities are not intelligent enough to work out the different costs and just see their entitlement as a "graduate" to a higher wage and so they move to the most expensive part of the country.  The solution is to stop giving people this sense of entitlement.  It doesn't do them any favours.  Personally I would close all the dud universities and turn them back into technical colleges so that people can see better what their earning level is likely to be and then be more realistic about it.  We have 11 universities in London that serve no useful purpose at all other than to pay the wages of the staff and to churn out "graduates" who are of no use to the employment market because they aren't well enough educated in anything that is of any use.  This is repeated all over the country.  Unfortunately telling people that they are a "graduate" when their level of education is what used to be an old O level doesn't give them a realistic view of what they can expect to earn or what kind of job they will be working in but it does create a sense of entitlement.

    Is it not a lot easier to not spend on those things when they don't exist though?
    I would find it a lot easier to not spend on things which hadn't been invented...
    The way society has been built up, means that certain things which didn't use to be are now a necessity (and therefore a new expense). 
    And they're not just luxuries, either. They've become essential parts of life.

    Using CakeGuts examples above:
    No mobile phone? All the public phone booths are gone, so I hope you never need to call anyone while you're out.
    No washing machine? Well there might still be a local laundrette if you're lucky... the only one I can find in my town (of 25k people) is 15 mins away by public transport... and I can only find the one place!
    No bathroom? I mean those houses are classed as uninhabitable these days, so good luck saying 'oh, no, I'll save money by not having one'. Think you'll struggle to find a public bath, too.

    So while that's all lovely and all that you guys didn't have those things and thus life was cheaper, it is actually impossible to continue to live that way for 99% of people because those facilities just do not exist - the world assumes you have these things, and thus you have to have them.

    (And I haven't even gotten started on the internet...)
  • ian1246ian1246 Forumite
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    I've read this thread with interest. I can see it from both points of views tbh - the "Boomer" Generation frankly have in many ways been fortunate in the circumstances they have found themselves in (Wage growth vs. inflation. Hugely increasing house prices, giving a fantastic asset to fund future retirement etc...), yet fail to recognise the disadvantages which the "Youth" of today face - House Prices vs. Income Ratio's being the obvious example, but also the lack of stability when it comes to Careers & options for well paying one's, alongside the lack of future pension options (good luck finding a DB Pension!). Throw into the equation the absolute lack of Council Housing (Courtesy of the Boomer generation buying it all up and then failing to replace it - effectively pulling the draw bridge up behind them) and the last decade of appalling economic growth (courtesy of the decisions made by the Boomer generation when it comes to government budgeting and financial regulations) since the global crash, which is the climate in which today's youth have emerged onto the job-market.... and now Brexit (courtesy of the Boomer Vote) further causing mass-havoc.

    So, basically a fairly negative climate in which many of today's Youth are emerging and trying to build a life, mostly caused by the idiocy/ selfishness/ short sightedness of the Boomer Generation - not even touching on the whole "climate change" debacle....

    ….. but then, of course, we do have the youth of today not helping the situation for themselves. Many of my peers spend ridiculous sums of £££ on having a new mobile phone every year. Many have new cars which they don't even own (or have any prospect of owning without coughing up a few dozen thousand £££). Many live their lives on credit and finance. Many just seem to refuse to take financial responsibility for themselves and to try. Frankly many do act as entitled fools easily parted from their money.

    Generally - it is a lot more difficult to get on the housing market for today's younger generations. But it is doable - and, of course, we do have some advantages vs. the older generations experiences: Low Interest means we can generally plan our financial futures (IF we plan) with a greater degree of certainty vs. our parents generations. Energy Costs are cheaper (more energy efficient) and our lives are generally far more pleasant (Less Labour-intensive jobs) etc...

    So, its a mixed bag - things need to be done to improve the situation for the younger generations, but I also think the younger generations need to take responsibility for themselves.

    ###############

    My own circumstances: I m 30, wife's 28. We own our own 3 Bed Semi-House (Brought in 2015 at 26 & 23 years old respectively) with 20years left on the mortgage. We brought our house with a 25% deposit we saved up (Live in the West Midlands) - and we brought our house prior to any of the help to buy/stamp duty-relief schemes were brought in. We budget/plan our finances tightly to avoid taking out credit and in order to live within our means. I work in the emergency services.... so am fortunate enough to have a DB Pension Scheme. Sadly my wife does not - and instead works in the child care sector and thus has to save a significant % of her earnings into her DC Scheme in order to have a comfortable retirement (something many of our generation have sadly not given any thoughts to).


  • evebemeevebeme Forumite
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    Sorry folks, I'm with CakeGuts on this one. I'm in my 70's, so been around a few years.
    I'll use my own family as an example.  I was born in England, moved to Canada as a child.
    My parents both worked.  Dad as a farmer, mother as house cleaner.  We cooked on a wood stove.  (That thing moved with us for at least 25 years.)
    I remember when we had been in Canada for over 5 years, they had saved enough to buy an electric kettle.  Guaranteed to boil in 3 minutes.  I can still see dad, with his old pocket watch, timing the kettle. Yep, 3 mins exactly.
    Mom washed by hand, didn't have a washer til I had left home many years later.  It was a small portable washer spin dryer. They had it for over 20 years.
    They believed if it wasn't broke, keep it.
    I followed their example.  Caused a number of fights with the hubby. He had been raised with a silver spoon in his mouth. His parents were in the habit of bailing him out whenever he maxed out his loans. When the first credit cards came out he had a ball. Chargex loved him.  Parents grumbled but paid his bills anyway.
    Then I came along. NO, we can't buy that until we can pay for it. But...but...but..mom and dad will help.  Resounding  NO. You're 32, time to grow up and become a man. Eventually, I pushed, pulled and dragged him into manhood.
    We purchased our first 'farm' with money earned by collecting beer and pop bottles from alongside the highway.  Every weekend for 3 years until we earned enough for the down payment. Then more years til we could afford to live on it.  Hubby still worked in the city, I milked 6 cows, by hand, and raised some pigs. No running water, no power, but some of the best times we had. DD was 10 by the time we moved away. That was 30 years ago.
    Happy to say, she also believes that if you can't pay cash, wait til you can. Unlike most young ones today who NEED a washer, dryer, mic, big screen tv, mobiles. 2 cars and the latest in every kind of technology.
  • Getting_greyerGetting_greyer Forumite
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    I had the hovis bread music in my head reading that.
  • John_John_ Forumite
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    This graph highlights just how royally F'ed the younger generation are. 
    I'm all for capitalism but something needs to be done to prevent impending mass homelessness / affordability. A recent survey showed that the average Brit (excluding London) on average spend 40% of their income just on rent. Is there any realistic solution here? Banning home owners from raising rent prices or house prices for 20 years is obviously not the solution... The government simply refuse to build more homes and companies refuse to increase wages. So what can realistically be done?

    And no, "getting a higher paying job" is not the solution as our country needs workers to fill low skilled jobs or our country would fall apart.


    Your left-hand axis starts at a negative number, so you simply can’t tell how the ratio has changed over time.

    Either that is deliberate, as you want to mislead, or numbers aren’t your thing. Either way, others have pointed out why you are wrong already. Do you understand yet?
  • John_John_ Forumite
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    spadoosh said:
    Cakeguts said:
    What I will say is this. I am seeing an awful lot of entitlement from the younger members in the case of entitlement. They seem to have this idea that they can live exactly where they want to and that housing that they can afford should be provided for them there.  Not only that but they also seem to think that they are entitled to all the other things in life in their 20s and 30s that they see older people who have worked for 40 years have.  They don't seem to want to start at the bottom and they all seem to want "careers" rather than a job.

    I am a "boomer" and i will tell you what boomer children had.  They had black and white television with a maximum of 3 channels.  There were no computers, cars at 18, no mobile phones, no central heating in houses and you walked or got the bus to school.  There were no expensive birthday and Christmas presents or 3 holidays abroad a year.  You were lucky if you got one holiday a year anywhere never mind abroad. I had never flown until I was in my middle 20s because air travel was too expensive.  Fridges, washing machines, cars and televisions were much more expensive compared to earnings than they are now. Many people did not have a washing machine they used the local launderette.   I can still remember the local swimming baths having public baths for people who didn't have a bathroom indoors and who still had outside toilets.  

    Even in the 60s London was too expensive for ordinary people to work in because they couldn't afford the housing so they just didn't take jobs there.  Without the aid of the internet people back then could work out that even with a London salary that was higher than the one they had they would actually be worse off.  I just cannot understand how so many young graduates finish up in London these days on salaries that make them worse off than they would have been staying in their local area when they can much more easily get the information that they need to work this out before they arrive in London.  The only conclusion that I have come to over this is that "real" graduates not the ones from the large number of technical colleges that now call themselves universities can still work out these salary differences and don't go to London if it doesn't add up but the "pretend" graduates those who should never have gone to one of these scam universities are not intelligent enough to work out the different costs and just see their entitlement as a "graduate" to a higher wage and so they move to the most expensive part of the country.  The solution is to stop giving people this sense of entitlement.  It doesn't do them any favours.  Personally I would close all the dud universities and turn them back into technical colleges so that people can see better what their earning level is likely to be and then be more realistic about it.  We have 11 universities in London that serve no useful purpose at all other than to pay the wages of the staff and to churn out "graduates" who are of no use to the employment market because they aren't well enough educated in anything that is of any use.  This is repeated all over the country.  Unfortunately telling people that they are a "graduate" when their level of education is what used to be an old O level doesn't give them a realistic view of what they can expect to earn or what kind of job they will be working in but it does create a sense of entitlement.

    To be a failure in the boomer generation, youdve had to have made a couple of massive screw ups. Most people have accidentally ended up being worth loads by pure good fortune, whilst were not in the future and its hard to compare, it really does feel like this generation has to be considerably more conservative in their thinking. I cant afford to go looking for a new job on monday because chances are the jobs dont exist, or the requirements are particularly picky. I cant afford to take a risk starting a new business as i have a family, a mortgage and stricter requirements on any borrowing i do
    OK, so you chose not to pursue a higher earning career, chose to have your family early, and so you are exactly where those decisions were bound to take you. You can’t choose to do this and then feel hard done by, if you cared about a higher salary and a bigger house then you could have delayed the family and actually out in the planning and work needed to get them.

    This is the entitlement that people are criticising, the idea that you can make the easy choices, coast along, and end up with the same kind of life as people who didn’t.

    My wife and I both chose difficult, but very worthwhile degrees from good universities instead of easier ones, and then did the same for our additional degrees. We then chose to do the extra work to get jobs in Finance, and worked the (sometimes) fourteen hour days in our twenties and early thirties needed to make it to a senior level.

    This involved sacrifice, and risk, but it was a calculated risk. We are definitely not boomers, but we have a lifestyle that my parents and grandparents could never have imagined. This option was open to you, too.
  • ukcarperukcarper Forumite
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    I think this is a better graph
  • edited 1 March 2020 at 10:43AM
    ukcarperukcarper Forumite
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    edited 1 March 2020 at 10:43AM
    I am a boomer and I realise how difficult it is for young people to buy a property now, as do all of my friends. But I bought my first house in the 70s I know it was not as easy as many people seem to think, although prices were not a high in relation to earnings they weren't as low as people think and you could not borrow as much in relation to your earnings.  As you can see from above graph prices in relation to earnings have varied greatly over the last 50 years. 

    As for entitlement, people expectations have grown over the last 50 years and this doesn't just apply to young people.  I had very little when I was young and live in a property that people would not be prepared live in now, I include myself in that, so I was easy to please.  My parents were credit adverse and had very limited credit and that was instilled into me. 
    People do have more luxury goods now especially younger people but I believe that is just as much to do with the availability of credit as the attitude of people.

    Some things were definitely better for me mainly employment especially for people without qualification, companies being more willing to train their own staff. But other things were worse food was much more expensive with limited choice. 

    The truth is it's very difficult to compare 60s and 70s to now as things were completely different with both generations facing different problems.

  • edited 2 March 2020 at 3:23PM
    seradaneseradane Forumite
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    edited 2 March 2020 at 3:23PM
    I think ukcarper has nailed it - the big difference between now & then is availability (& prevalence) of credit.

    The boomers didn't have it is easy as my generation assumes because credit was much harder to come by - sure, house prices may only have been 3x your income but if nobody's lending you that difference it's still very much out of reach. Now, of course, anyone and everyone is throwing credit at you - and in fact in some cases being able to buy things outright is being replaced by subscription services (e.g. ev batteries, software programs, movies/tv shows amongst others). So rather than just save-up-and-buy, if you want these things you potentially have to sign up for a subscription which auto-renews, and you have to pay attention and cancel them as soon as you don't need them - assuming you aren't locked into a contract.

    Then of course when you can buy a car on an 0% APR finance deal, it almost seems perverse not to! But then of course you have to read the fine print and make sure that you don't get caught out by this or that clause they've snuck in there. I swear I saw a facebook advert for a pair of slippers - slippers! - you could buy on a 0% credit deal. Like !!!!!!? Is it really so suprising that so many young people get caught out? 

    And of course once you've signed up for an expensive phone over 24 months, even if you now realise that was foolish and you didn't need that much, or you've had a change of circumstances and you should cut back? Too bad, now you have to keep paying until the end of that contract. And when the world runs on credit, if you muck things up with a few poor decisions when you're young and careless you potentially have that hanging around your neck and affecting all aspects of your life for years. 

    Basically, we have access to a lot more now, but also the world is a lot more complicated and there are a thousand and one new ways to trip you up if you don't have an iron-clad grip on your finances. And even if you are pretty clued-in, it's a lot of work to keep track of it all. Not everyone has the time or the ability to constantly check to see if the interest rate on their bank account has dropped again and there's a better deal if they change, or perhaps your insurance company is upping your rates by £200 because they can, or that introductory free trial period for something you looked at briefly is now ticking over and charging you, or countless other ways modern life can cost you more than it should.

    Not to mention social media and the like gives us a searingly clear view of exactly all the stuff our neighbors have that we don't - is it that surprising then that people start to get unhappy that it seems like everyone else has things that they can't afford? (Or maybe they can... that lovely new sofa is only £34/month... they could manage that!) As an aside, I remember reading about a study of poor women in India, who all had approximately the same household income which was just at the threshold where some would have a TV, and others wouldn't. And it turns out the ones with the TVs reported higher unhappiness than those without, because the TV gave them an insight into what others had that they didn't.

    And I say all this as a 32-year old with no debt other than my mortgage, no leases or contracts more than is essential, and I feel a pretty good grip on things. I generally believe we do have things "better" now, and I also believe there are people who are terrible with money of all ages, but to dismiss this generation's complaints as entitlement is a lazy glossing over of very real challenges.
  • MalthusianMalthusian Forumite
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    John_ said:
    This graph highlights just how royally F'ed the younger generation are. 
    I'm all for capitalism but something needs to be done to prevent impending mass homelessness / affordability. A recent survey showed that the average Brit (excluding London) on average spend 40% of their income just on rent. Is there any realistic solution here? Banning home owners from raising rent prices or house prices for 20 years is obviously not the solution... The government simply refuse to build more homes and companies refuse to increase wages. So what can realistically be done?

    And no, "getting a higher paying job" is not the solution as our country needs workers to fill low skilled jobs or our country would fall apart.


    Your left-hand axis starts at a negative number, so you simply can’t tell how the ratio has changed over time.

    Either that is deliberate, as you want to mislead, or numbers aren’t your thing.

    Probably the latter.
    I must be missing something then because I just assumed 5045% over 50 years was ~100% a year on average.

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