Are British house prices likely to become affordable for first time buyers?



  • Are British house prices likely to become affordable for first time buyers?


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    British house prices are likely to fall once there are more available houses for sale than people wanting to buy them and not before then.
    Prices of houses, especially for first-time buyers, are always going to be related to the buyers' ability to pay. Right now, the average new-build home is on offer for about 10 times the average first-time buyer's annual salary, which sounds frightening; in the mid-1970s, when my husband and I bought our first house, it was nearer 5 times my salary.
    But there is a vast difference between interest rates then and now. The lowest mortgage rate we ever had to pay was around 8%, and at the peak, it was nearly 20%! Whereas now, about 2% to 3% is typical. So in practice, because interest rates are so low, which makes repayments more affordable, it also makes it possible for prices to stay high. If mortgage rates shot up, there would be fewer people able to afford current prices, which would have to fall for houses to sell. But it wouldn't help anyone, would it? Apart from the banks, of course.
    House prices are affordable for first-time buyers; we can tell this because there are still first-time buyers buying houses. The big obstacle is the deposit, and I'm sorry to have to say this, but I'm afraid the only way to save that up is to do what earlier generations have had to do: spend less and save more.
    No, you can't have all the latest gadgetry, the most exotic holidays, many nights out and the latest fashions, if you also want to buy a house. As my husband always (most annoyingly) says, you can have anything you want — but not everything you want. If you would rather have the latest iPhone and all the rest of it, and go on renting, then that's your choice; but if you are anything like the vast majority of us in regular jobs, you will have to make that choice.
    It's up to you.
    One last thought (and I don't expect it to be any more popular than the previous ones, I'm afraid): weddings.
    If you are thinking in terms of getting married, may I plead with you not to go for the full Posh-and-Becks, Harry-and-Meghan, Hello magazine works, with the accompanying bill? Fairytale weddings are all very well if you are so fabulously wealthy that you'll never even have to find out what the word “mortgage” means, but most of us are not like that. Fairytale weddings for ordinary people are not noted for their Happy-ever-after endings. I've seen figures suggesting that the chances of your marriage surviving are in inverse proportion to the cost of your wedding.
    Please, if you want to buy a house one day, don't go into debt to spend the price of a deposit on a one-day event. It won't make you feel any more married than something cleverly inexpensive, and it will be a millstone around your necks. Take your guidance from the world of IT and KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid!
    And have a marriage and a house, instead.

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    Not really as house prices are an artificially inflated bubble, and if allowed to drop too much will collapse entirely. The prices are in theory to do with the value of the property and the land it’s built on, but for decades now, the price has been based on the assumption that as it has been bought as an investment, the selling price must be higher than the buying price. As the rules on purchase to let mortgages were changed, and the rules and costs for landlords have massively loosened, any time there is a threat of prices dropping, people refuse to sell them for less, and rent them out instead; AirB&B is making this even more possible, so until Corbyn gets in and starts allowing councils to build Council housing again, prices will stay many times higher than ordinary people can actually afford.

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    Not for at least 20–25 years.
    At the moment, a small majority of 60–65% of people, including my own houses. We don’t want our primary asset to lose value and will do anything we can to prevent it.
    The power of democracy allows that 60–65% to completely screw those who don’t own houses.
    In a generation that will change as house owners become a minority, then I suggest you vote to use the elderly for hunting or something.
    British house prices are when you allow democracy to trump the free market. The free market, if approved, would bulldoze maybe 10% of the green belt, build new cities and allow more to buy houses. But the (small) majority of people don’t want this to happen.
    If I were young I would hate people like me but in a democracy, if its a choice between you or me, I choose me every time

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    “Are British house prices likely to become affordable for first-time buyers?”
    House prices are affordable for first-time buyers. Something like 350,000 first-time-buyers bought a house in the last 12 months. By definition, they could afford to buy a home because they did just that.
    Buying a house might not be affordable for you, but that is your problem, there is nothing “unaffordable” about the housing market.

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    To get anything like a sensible answer, you need to remove some of the potential variables involved.
    Location
    House size/condition
    Income of buyer
    Someone earning £50k a year would have a pretty wide choice of housing in much of the country. Conversely, someone who cares not where the house is located could get one for the price of a family saloon car.