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Housing boom ‘underclass’

File under “no shit Sherlock”. According to a report on BBC News, a study has found that “a lack of affordable housing is creating an ‘underclass’ of people unable to afford their own homes in the UK”. In other words, the fact that house prices have consistently gone up by far more than wages has inevitably meant that more and more people simply cannot afford to buy.
This is the dirty little secret of the housing boom, and the only reason that it hasn’t been noticed before is that banks have kept stretching the amounts and terms of mortgages, in a kind of private market compensation.
The long term consequences are going to be brutal, and it’s something that no political party will want to tackle. There is going to be a larger and larger proportion of people in the UK who will never be able to afford to buy their own home, while those who bought early will be alright. The problem with this is, of course, that this government along with just about every other since Thatcher has sold the public two lies: That of “the right to buy” and that houses are investments, not places to live – that the simple act of buying a house can and will make you rich. Without a massive, public housing-for-rent programme, there’s going to be a lot of unhappy people in a few year’s time.[BBC News]

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