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First-Time Buyers: Young, Rich House-Hunting

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What’s it like to buy your dream home the first time around? As a new BBC series gives us a peek, Ed Cumming talks to some of the lucky few

We know all about the legions of frustrated young people who can’t get on the property ladder. With house prices higher than ever relative to income, and jobs like hen’s teeth, for most new buyers these are miserable times.

But what about those who can? What is house-hunting like for the gilded individuals who worry more about valets than value for money?

A new television series, which begins on BBC Three on Monday, aims to show us. Young, Rich and House Hunting is a peek at the lives of those young people for whom the size of the Jacuzzi is more important than the price, as they hunt for the home of their dreams.

First up is Luke, a painstakingly groomed playboy from Essex. The stepson of a successful businessman, the 25-year-old patiently explains the difficult choices he faces every day: “I have to decide whether to go to the gym, or play golf. I’ve never had to work, so why should I?”

Finding a house that matches his expectations, within his £800,000 budget proves harder than expected, especially in London, where his money goes much less far than he had hoped.

Not all of those featured are quite so pampered. Sophia Shepodd, a bubbly 25-year-old, runs her own PR company and wants a home in town to replace her £2,000 a month rental in the prestigious Pan Peninsula in the Docklands.

As she scours London’s more salubrious areas, she says that she’s not interested in anything under £495,000, because “in London you can’t get anything fabulous for under that price”.

For most young people “fabulous” is less important than “affordable” when looking for a property. Still, Sophia’s search is not without its travails. Many of the more fabulous dwellings break the £1m upper limit ceiling agreed with her mother, who is footing half the bill.

“I don’t feel guilty about it,” Sophia says. “I work very hard for my money. I left school at 18 and started working, and it’s finally starting to pay off. I’m sure my friends will catch up.”

It is not only on television that the country’s most affluent twentysomethings are buying again. While many struggle to find work, those with means are tearing ahead. In central London, in the traditional hot spots of Chelsea and Knightsbridge, demand for first-time buyer pads is booming. According to new research by Investec, between 2008 and 2010 sales of homes in London over £1m increased by 65 per cent.

Charlie Bubear, the head of sales for Savills in the area, believes that first-time buyers are a significant factor. “They’re resurgent,” he says. “In 2008 they had almost disappeared, but through the end of last year and the beginning of this year they’ve come back.

“As well as the kind of buyer with a trust fund – which isn’t unusual – we’re also seeing buyers from professional backgrounds who’ve made the money themselves.” Some parents are also buying houses to put in trust for children as young as 12, he adds.

Bubear says that far from scrimping and saving, his clients are prepared to spend big to secure lofts, penthouses and mews houses. “It’s not uncommon to see first-time buyers spending a million pounds or more,” he explains. “That money could buy a three or four-bedroom house in Wandsworth, but young buyers tend to stay in traditional areas. They want to be near their friends, bars, restaurants, somewhere with a vibrant lifestyle. They want to be within two miles of Harrods.”

They are also canny market operators. Max Rudolf, a 24-year-old student at Oxford, has combined an inheritance with some money from his mother to buy the £740,000 three-bedroom flat next door to her house in Fulham.

He says that he took the decision mostly for financial reasons. “To be honest, I’ve bought it because I’m too tight to pass up on such a good opportunity. Frankly I’d rather not live right next door to my mother, but it’s a gorgeous place. I know I’m lucky. Some people work for their whole lives to own such a property.

“But if you’ve got money just sitting around in cash, it’s not making much, and investment’s volatile at the moment. It’s silly not to take advantage.”

The new flat has been completely renovated. “If my work takes me out of London, I can rent it out and use that to pay for somewhere else, or sell it on when the market picks up,” he adds. Bubear agrees. “If you can get a decent-sized deposit, it’s a good time to borrow,” he says. “Rates are historically low – 90 per cent mortgages are creeping back in. People are more confident.”

Aside from the trust-funders, he says that his clients are from predictable professions. “Barristers, bankers, insurance brokers,” he says. “As business picks up, they’re becoming more confident in their jobs and they’re starting to buy again.”

One such woman, a 24-year-old banker, didn’t want to give her name. “People can be judgmental,” she says. “It’s a bad time to be a young banker buying property.”

A year ago she acquired a lavish one-bedroom flat in Mayfair’s Mount Street for £1m, with some generous assistance.

“My parents took out a mortgage on their house in Dulwich, south London, which was previously mortgage-free, so they got a much better rate than I could,” she explains. “The new flat is in my name, and has no mortgage. I pay them back whatever I can each month – including my entire bonus,” she adds ruefully. “It’s freed up a bit of extra cash for them, and it means that if I ever need cash for whatever reason I can take out a loan on the flat.”

She concedes that there are some downsides to living in one of London’s most expensive areas: “The service charge is £10,000 a year. And my downstairs neighbours wouldn’t let me put in wooden flooring. But I love the area – it’s convenient for everything.”

Not everyone has had help from their parents or a big bonus, however. Persephone Bridgman-Baker, a 24-year-old solicitor, used her own savings and some inheritance from her grandmother for a deposit on her £325,000 two-bedroom flat in Kennington, south London.

“I needed somewhere to live for work,” she says. “I’ve got room for my boyfriend, a sun-trap roof terrace with a view of the London Eye and Westminster Abbey, and some antique chairs I’ve covered in leopard-print. I also installed some extra built-in storage space. It’s perfect.”

She says that many of her friends are doing the same thing as her. “Renting is a black hole,” she says. “I was paying £700 a month to live in Clapham, which is the same as the interest on my mortgage now. If you’ve got a stable job in the City and are thinking long-term, it makes sense.”

As well as mingling with the oligarchs and Arabian princes in west London, rich young things are also heading east, for chic conversions and new-builds in Shoreditch and Greenwich.

“The standard is incredible,” Sophia Shepodd says. “Everything’s so new and shiny. To get something similar in the west end you have to spend, like, £15m.”

For most first-time buyers such properties remain out of reach. Still, as Young, Rich and House Hunting reminds us, even the biggest trust fund is no guarantee of a sense of perspective. The youngest house-hunter featured in the programme is

Milly, 19 years old and looking for a home near Alderley Edge, the WAG haven in Cheshire, with “five or six” bedrooms.

“I think I’m spoilt,” she says, “but I don’t think I’m a brat. Privileged would be a nice way to put it.”

For sale

Tapestry Building, from £1.4m This 18th-century warehouse, once owned by the East India Company and only yards from Liverpool Street station, has been converted into 14 modern apartments, each with high ceilings, full-length windows and ash floorboards. Savills (020 7581 5234; www.savills.co.uk)

60 Onslow Gardens, £5m This two-bedroom, two-bathroom flat would be ideal for heirs-about-town. Located near South Kensington Tube, it has a dining room and drawing room, and roof terrace. Savills (020 7581 5234; www.savills.co.uk)

Clink Wharf, £3.1m Perfect for those of a thespian bent, this split-level three-bedroom loft-style penthouse is moments from Shakespeare’s Globe. In addition to an exposed brickwork living room, it also has a roof terrace and planning permission for expansion. Frank Knight (020 7861 1031; www.knightfrank.com)

The Factory, £1.05m This two-bedroom warehouse conversion in Islington has over 1,560 sq ft of living space. A surround stereo system runs through all but one of the rooms. Stirling Ackroyd (0203 318 7096; www.stirlingackroyd.co.uk)

2d Olivers Wharf, £1.2m This conversion of a listed Victorian warehouse in convenient Wapping has apartments with two bedrooms and bathrooms, with huge open-plan living areas. Knight Frank (020 7861 1031; www.knightfrank.com)

Eclipse Lofts, £950,000 This 1,560sq ft loft conversion is set just of Islington’s Upper Street. Arranged over two levels, it has two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Unique Property Company 0870 900 4050; www.uniquepropertycompany.co.uk

Even the rich need mummy and daddy to help.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/investmentinproperty/8482769/First-time-buyers-Young-rich-house-hunting.html

Edited by Pent Up

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Everything in my price range is inhabited by the bone J-Kyle idle scum. Which puts me off really. And I'm the richest of my peers! (But not that rich, mind)

Edited by Money Spinner

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Everything in my price range is inhabited by the bone J-Kyle idle scum. Which puts me off really. And I'm the richest of my peers! (But not that rich, mind)

I'm in exactly the same boat only with 2 kids. I earn more than any of my friends but mum and dad couldn't stump up a deposit (and I wouldn't have asked!) back in 1998.

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"the 25-year-old patiently explains the difficult choices he faces every day: “I have to decide whether to go to the gym, or play golf. I’ve never had to work, so why should I?”

Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab! :blink:

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One such woman, a 24-year-old banker, didn’t want to give her name. “People can be judgmental,” she says. “It’s a bad time to be a young banker buying property.”

A year ago she acquired a lavish one-bedroom flat in Mayfair’s Mount Street for £1m, with some generous assistance.

“My parents took out a mortgage on their house in Dulwich, south London, which was previously mortgage-free, so they got a much better rate than I could,” she explains. “The new flat is in my name, and has no mortgage. I pay them back whatever I can each month – including my entire bonus,” she adds ruefully. “It’s freed up a bit of extra cash for them, and it means that if I ever need cash for whatever reason I can take out a loan on the flat.”

£1m for 1 bed flat... plus £10k pa service charge...astonishing..

And this worries me very much - it doesn't look like banker has stopped gambling with other people's money (mum&dad in this instance) or that banker have any sense of value received for money spent. And yes - there are the people who are managing 'our' money and pension...

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some staggering sums- i guess we shouldnt be surprised really - there's a lot of people making money in london- and that includes young professionals- its hard competing with these lot

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They aren't really 'making money'. Even the successful ones are largely buying with parental help or on a budget which, whilst a fortune in the 'provinces', is only a nice-ish 2 bed in a nice-ish area for London (495).

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A few years back a friend of mine found herself on a table at some posh do with a bunch of toffs born with silver spoons in their mouths. Property came up in the conversation and one toff said to this friend

" were you not born with a houusse "

The friend replied

" no I was not born with a houusse , I was born in a houuse in a little council houusse "

Half the table laughed and told the Toff to get over himself the other half just sat there stoney faced not quite knowing what to do or say.

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Just a VI stunt to try and get the sheeple into desiring debt again. I suspect we will be barraged with VI supportive programs like these now.

BBC's causes seem to be champagne socialism and house price inflation, they have sold out. It's time the bbc was funded by bloody adverts and quick.

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Just a VI stunt to try and get the sheeple into desiring debt again. I suspect we will be barraged with VI supportive programs like these now.

It's much more than that, it's meant to put the watching public in their place, to tell them how small, poor and a bunch of losers they are, but at the same time keep them focused on material desires to distract them from the more important things in life (love, friendship, family, solidarity and local community spirit).

BBC's causes seem to be champagne socialism and house price inflation, they have sold out. It's time the bbc was funded by bloody adverts and quick.

You mean advertisers like Banks, house builders, estate agent chains, etc.?

Don't get me wrong I'm against the BBC tax too, in fact I NEVER paid it, but the only real change would be ABOLISH TV (personally I have done that many years ago) as either way it would still be a propaganda machine for the powerful interests.

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When these privileged purchasers have spent their wodge, there will be no money left! :blink::ph34r:

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Just a VI stunt to try and get the sheeple into desiring debt again. I suspect we will be barraged with VI supportive programs like these now.

BBC's causes seem to be champagne socialism and house price inflation, they have sold out. It's time the bbc was funded by bloody adverts and quick.

Too bloody right.

We should call it the television ladder - their route to get themselves off the back of the taxpayer and tv's with menances to the free market.

See how much they like it!

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Rich people buy things.

Get over it.

Get angry over banking theft, Government waste and why we arent protecting Syrian Citizens with no fly zones and bombings of palaces.

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House prices are kept high to keep people working, nearby work with high wages = high house prices.......once it is paid for you can live there for life in the area you were born and bred, with friends and family (if they can afford to stay) around....many nice houses have been in families for 50 years or more the neighbours have hardly changed.....it might as well be worth 1p while you live in it, but the rent is free.........or you can move away to a better and make your hard earned house :lol: pay your rent elsewhere. ;)

London house prices are far too high, it is pricing the young indigenous away in greater numbers than ever before, two high paying jobs and a large deposit means only certain type of people with certain types of jobs can now buy a nice home......the rest will rent or move, (not always a bad thing). ;)

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Just a VI stunt to try and get the sheeple into desiring debt again. I suspect we will be barraged with VI supportive programs like these now.

BBC's causes seem to be champagne socialism and house price inflation, they have sold out. It's time the bbc was funded by bloody adverts and quick.

Should imagine that in the programme makers' eyes it's rather intended as a loathe-fest for the mere mortals who'll be watching.

Loathe-fests are always popular.

The sort of people who offer themselves to TV programmes to brag about their wealth are by definition prats, and I'd guess that editing will make them look as prattish, brattish and loathsome as possible.

Though of course editors are clever and it will probably be masquerading as sycophantic interest in the prats' affairs.

Edited by Mrs Bear

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I am utterly speechless. It's almost like that article and the TV show were designed to generate fury.

I love the caption about Persephone buying a flat 'with her own money', when it turns out she needed to use an inheritance from her grandmother. I love how bad solicitors are with money as well: "She says that many of her friends are doing the same thing as her. “Renting is a black hole,” she says. “I was paying £700 a month to live in Clapham, which is the same as the interest on my mortgage now. If you’ve got a stable job in the City and are thinking long-term, it makes sense.” "

So, mortgage interest, which is the amount you pay to 'rent' the money, is NOT a black hole, but actual rent IS a black hole. Clapham is a much nicer area than Kennington, which is pretty scary at night, and she is paying the same amount in 'rent' to live in a worse place. I'm sure she's not included insurance, maintenance costs and the transaction costs in that calculation either.

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Should imagine that in the programme makers' eyes it's rather intended as a loathe-fest for the mere mortals who'll be watching.

Loathe-fests are always popular.

The sort of people who offer themselves to TV programmes to brag about their wealth are by definition prats, and I'd guess that editing will make them look as prattish, brattish and loathsome as possible.

Though of course editors are clever and it will probably be masquerading as sycophantic interest in the prats' affairs.

Yeah, from reading the article I expect it to be a cross between The Apprentice and Location Location Location!

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She says that many of her friends are doing the same thing as her. “Renting is a black hole,” she says. “I was paying £700 a month to live in Clapham, which is the same as the interest on my mortgage now. If you’ve got a stable job in the City and are thinking long-term, it makes sense.”

Rates are historically low – 90 per cent mortgages are creeping back in. People are more confident.”

How is mortgage interest different to rent exactly? Is it a tracker and did she consider what would happen when IR rise. Stable job in the city, did she blank 2007/8 from her head.

This is the real problem with low IR, the madness continues, people remain in the "bubble" and are clearly delusional. They are only being set up for a big fall down the line and will cause us further economic problems when they inevitably default.

The BOE should raise IR for this article alone, it is pretty scary that even with the crash so little thought is put in to big financial decisions. The bit about mortgages should have the BOE and FSA terrified.

Edited by mattyfc

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"the 25-year-old patiently explains the difficult choices he faces every day: “I have to decide whether to go to the gym, or play golf. I’ve never had to work, so why should I?”

Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab! :blink:

...do you have a link to this quote...?.... :unsure:

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I love the caption about Persephone buying a flat 'with her own money', when it turns out she needed to use an inheritance from her grandmother. I love how bad solicitors are with money as well: "She says that many of her friends are doing the same thing as her. “Renting is a black hole,” she says. “I was paying £700 a month to live in Clapham, which is the same as the interest on my mortgage now. If you’ve got a stable job in the City and are thinking long-term, it makes sense.” "

In Persephone's little world she imagines we all get an inheritance. What sort of name is Persephone? Does she have a sister called Voda?

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One such woman, a 24-year-old banker, didn’t want to give her name. “People can be judgmental,” she says. “It’s a bad time to be a young banker buying property.”

A year ago she acquired a lavish one-bedroom flat in Mayfair’s Mount Street for £1m, with some generous assistance.

“My parents took out a mortgage on their house in Dulwich, south London, which was previously mortgage-free, so they got a much better rate than I could,” she explains. “The new flat is in my name, and has no mortgage. I pay them back whatever I can each month – including my entire bonus,” she adds ruefully. “It’s freed up a bit of extra cash for them, and it means that if I ever need cash for whatever reason I can take out a loan on the flat.”

I hope her family informed the Inland Revenue of this arrangement. This money has been gifted and cannot just be written off. I imagine this is a deliberate attempt to avoid inheritance tax.

It's fun to watch London's bubble building up. A million quid on a 1 bed place!

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I think this show was produced to rile the masses. Not quite sure of the reason.

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Luke's right about London - Crap views, overpriced, badly maintained... :rolleyes:

I'm not finding myself getting jealous, most of those places are quite naff!

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  • 311 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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