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whynow

The Heat Is On!

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Hello,

I was looking for a newbie, intro area but couldn't see one so I shall bluster straight onto the main board and ask outright for advice. I've been reading this board for a few months now and have seen the negative feel about the house prices in the UK, especially London.

I'm newly married and we're trying for a baby. Currently we live on the London/Kent borders out in good old zone 6. I bought in 2005 and am at about 50% equity in my terrace house out in the boondocks. My wife and I are very lucky to have good jobs (she's in law and I'm in business) but central London long since disappeared out of reach and now even places like Catford and Sydenham are not affordable for those seeking a few bedrooms and a garden.

I recently took a new job where the head office is in Sheffield and those Peak District borders and looking very attractive now compared to the knife battle zones of SE London. However, I imagine even here has gone up like crazy recently.

I'm just looking for a bit of advice really, I've only owned property for 8-9 years but remember my parents living thru the HP hell in the 80s, I feel like I have to upgrade with the prospects of a growing family and my wife would prefer to live closer into London in a nice area with more room, but from reading these boards my spidey sense is screaming not to get mortgaged up! On the flip side, this domain has been going a long time, and there's not really been a full on crash... so I can't justify staying out, I'm also worried about falling behind while borrowing is so cheap and all my siblings are moving into bigger houses!

If this is the wrong place to post this Admin, please feel free to move it!

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I recently took a new job where the head office is in Sheffield and those Peak District borders and looking very attractive now compared to the knife battle zones of SE London.

...

my wife would prefer to live closer into London in a nice area with more room

I think you need to reconcile those two statements.

What's your appetite for risk? How bad would your situation be if you mortgaged up and then rates rose?

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I'm also worried about falling behind while borrowing is so cheap and all my siblings are moving into bigger houses!

I think the fear that emanates from this sentence, due to middle-class expectations, illustrates exactly why we're in the current situation. Between foreign investors who want to park their money and middle-class professionals who fear that they will be "left behind" and effectively "lose their status" as middle-class, prices will undoubtedly exploded beyond the actual true value of the underlying asset.

Then again, I can't claim to have always made the right decision. I see friends, who had much more different expectations, whose families pushed them (and helped them) to purchase as quickly as possible and to endebt themselves as much as possible, in better situations and who are now comfortable property owners.

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Hello,

I was looking for a newbie, intro area but couldn't see one so I shall bluster straight onto the main board and ask outright for advice. I've been reading this board for a few months now and have seen the negative feel about the house prices in the UK, especially London.

I'm newly married and we're trying for a baby. Currently we live on the London/Kent borders out in good old zone 6. I bought in 2005 and am at about 50% equity in my terrace house out in the boondocks. My wife and I are very lucky to have good jobs (she's in law and I'm in business) but central London long since disappeared out of reach and now even places like Catford and Sydenham are not affordable for those seeking a few bedrooms and a garden.

I recently took a new job where the head office is in Sheffield and those Peak District borders and looking very attractive now compared to the knife battle zones of SE London. However, I imagine even here has gone up like crazy recently.

I'm just looking for a bit of advice really, I've only owned property for 8-9 years but remember my parents living thru the HP hell in the 80s, I feel like I have to upgrade with the prospects of a growing family and my wife would prefer to live closer into London in a nice area with more room, but from reading these boards my spidey sense is screaming not to get mortgaged up! On the flip side, this domain has been going a long time, and there's not really been a full on crash... so I can't justify staying out, I'm also worried about falling behind while borrowing is so cheap and all my siblings are moving into bigger houses!

If this is the wrong place to post this Admin, please feel free to move it!

You will probably find that there is more violence in cities like Sheffield and Glasgow than London, although both are bordering nice countryside and views, the London lot just sound worse cause they talk Gansta` Innit.

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Hello

Just to answer: My wife would prefer to move closer into London but she's not averse to having a much nicer property in Sheffield, I think we're both worried about making the wrong decision.

To answer another: If rates rose, depending on by how much and assuming either one of us in employed, we should be able to weather that storm.

We liked Sydenham and Brockley but over the last year they've gone up 25-40%. The other alternative is stay in this area where prices have not gone up as much over the last few years, BexleyHeath/Crayford/Dartford and buy a larger house here.

I'm actually not middle class, but working class with a middle class wife and middle class worries! I am irritated to have gone through school/uni/10 years of work/saved and be pretty much at the top of my working tree and not to be able to afford a decent house in a decent location (tbf I could though outside of London, so its really just a london problem). I do have other things of course that my parents for example didn't, plus this nice shiny machine I'm writing on, mobile phones, holidays etc, I realise I sound like a whiny git! But yes! I want my flat in holland park!

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I think the fear that emanates from this sentence, due to middle-class expectations, illustrates exactly why we're in the current situation. Between foreign investors who want to park their money and middle-class professionals who fear that they will be "left behind" and effectively "lose their status" as middle-class, prices will undoubtedly exploded beyond the actual true value of the underlying asset.

Then again, I can't claim to have always made the right decision. I see friends, who had much more different expectations, whose families pushed them (and helped them) to purchase as quickly as possible and to endebt themselves as much as possible, in better situations and who are now comfortable property owners.

I have never considered that about losing middle class status as a driver for purchasing in London.

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Middle class life in London strikes me as rather elusive.

Firstly you are likely to end up in a cramped house with little or no garden.

Secondly your kids are likely to end up at a school with sundry asylum seekers, junior gangsters, etc., unless you've got really lots of money to go private.

You might not even be able to own a car.

Out of London and a few other parts, the country is 98% white British, and being middle class is just a matter of getting a professional job. In London you can earn a fortune and still live next to a crack addict housed for free by the council.

E.g.,

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-29044314.html?premiumA=true - middle class area surrounded by middle class housing

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-42748744.html - London, close to massive, sh*tty council estate and one of Britain's most notorious prison.

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I have never considered that about losing middle class status as a driver for purchasing in London.

Being in my early 30s and having a lot of friends/colleagues who bought a long time ago, I definitely see a pattern in those who bought early on. It's an established fact that the majority of FTBs now receive financial assistance from their parents. To someone who is middle-class, that might seem absolutely normal/standard but many might not realise that giving a huge lump sum to their offspring is not a realistic option for most adults in this country. Fortunately, not every FTB falls into that group and I hope to be such a person at some point in the next few years.

The type of parent who makes a huge gift for a deposit is obviously wealthy but especially is eager for their children to be property owners with the belief that once you're a property owner, you're safe and financial stability is yours forever. Around me but especially in the media, I often hear parents express their fear that their child, who has barely started a career, might not be able to own a home. Considering that home ownership is close to 60% in this country and in many European countries is significantly lower than that, what are they worried about exactly? If you tell them "well maybe your child will be part of the group of people who don't own or not until much later in life", how would they react? They would obviously be horrified because they don't want to fall in that group.

These types of articles express this attitude perfectly:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2552778/Not-owning-home-makes-harder-children-property-ladder.html

Edited by samtheman

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Middle class life in London strikes me as rather elusive.

Firstly you are likely to end up in a cramped house with little or no garden.

Secondly your kids are likely to end up at a school with sundry asylum seekers, junior gangsters, etc., unless you've got really lots of money to go private.

You might not even be able to own a car.

Out of London and a few other parts, the country is 98% white British, and being middle class is just a matter of getting a professional job. In London you can earn a fortune and still live next to a crack addict housed for free by the council.

Totally agree with this.

I think that one of the main reasons for this is that when the middle class section boomer generation settled down to have kids, very few of them did it in London, especially centrally.

There have always been the enclaves in Kensington & Chelsea etc where people have so much money that they don’t need to use the schools and other public services, but if you look at areas a little further out that are now considered middle class, I just don’t think they would have had very many middle class inhabitants 30 years ago.

For example, all of the roads leading off Wimbledon Broadway are full of small Victorian houses that might cost £1m now and be bursting with the middle classes, but in the 80s these houses would have been cheap and inhabited by a totally different type of person. It is the same story in Putney & Fulham, except the houses are even more expensive.

Even much further out where I live in Surbiton, although there would have been more of the ‘lower middle class’ living in areas like Berrylands in those days, virtually all of the fine Victorian houses that would have originally housed the upper middle classes were either torn down or divided into flats in the 70s-80s because no one wanted them as houses.

The boomer generation were much more likely to move out to Esher or Sevenoaks to get more space and a better lifestyle when they had kids. This is still a well-trodden path for the younger generation, but there is certainly a good proportion that now want to stay in London long term, which would not have been the case with their parents.

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Totally agree with this.

I think that one of the main reasons for this is that when the middle class section boomer generation settled down to have kids, very few of them did it in London, especially centrally.

There have always been the enclaves in Kensington & Chelsea etc where people have so much money that they don’t need to use the schools and other public services, but if you look at areas a little further out that are now considered middle class, I just don’t think they would have had very many middle class inhabitants 30 years ago.

For example, all of the roads leading off Wimbledon Broadway are full of small Victorian houses that might cost £1m now and be bursting with the middle classes, but in the 80s these houses would have been cheap and inhabited by a totally different type of person. It is the same story in Putney & Fulham, except the houses are even more expensive.

Even much further out where I live in Surbiton, although there would have been more of the ‘lower middle class’ living in areas like Berrylands in those days, virtually all of the fine Victorian houses that would have originally housed the upper middle classes were either torn down or divided into flats in the 70s-80s because no one wanted them as houses.

The boomer generation were much more likely to move out to Esher or Sevenoaks to get more space and a better lifestyle when they had kids. This is still a well-trodden path for the younger generation, but there is certainly a good proportion that now want to stay in London long term, which would not have been the case with their parents.

i thought the class system was all but dead ?

you either have money or you don`t in my eyes .

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i thought the class system was all but dead ?

you either have money or you don`t in my eyes .

That is the sensible way to look at it, but a lot of people don't. I bet if you asked the typical Daily Mail/Express reader if class was dead, they'd tell you it definitely isn't.

One thing is for certain, you have to have a LOT of money now to live what would have been seen as the classic middle class lifestyle in the 70s/80s.

To get the 4-5 bed detached house in a good commuter town, 2 cars, 2 garages, 2 kids, 2 foreign holidays etc would have been relatively easily acheivable on a single professional salary in the 70s/80s, say about £70k in today's money.

Today's professional person earning that type of money would be scuppered from the off because the house itself would be £1m, let alone the cost of all of the other lifestyle elements. I am not sure whether that precludes them from being 'middle class' or if that even matters at all.

The worst thing is that they can't even buy a terraced house in Wimbledon that would have been looked down upon by the previous generation because they cost £1m too!

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That is the sensible way to look at it, but a lot of people don't. I bet if you asked the typical Daily Mail/Express reader if class was dead, they'd tell you it definitely isn't.

One thing is for certain, you have to have a LOT of money now to live what would have been seen as the classic middle class lifestyle in the 70s/80s.

To get the 4-5 bed detached house in a good commuter town, 2 cars, 2 garages, 2 kids, 2 foreign holidays etc would have been relatively easily acheivable on a single professional salary in the 70s/80s, say about £70k in today's money.

Today's professional person earning that type of money would be scuppered from the off because the house itself would be £1m, let alone the cost of all of the other lifestyle elements. I am not sure whether that precludes them from being 'middle class' or if that even matters at all.

The worst thing is that they can't even buy a terraced house in Wimbledon that would have been looked down upon by the previous generation because they cost £1m too!

you need to earn £77700 to clear £1000 a week , i know some plumbers and plasterers that earn more than that and cash too are they working or middle class ?

the real issue here is wages or lack off,

in 2000 i got my 2nd job in IT earning 27k basic and around 10-13k in other benefits o/t on call allowance etc ,

now these jobs are paying the same or less without the benefits where is wage inflation ? not in my sector.

although the contracts these companies get to provide support are probably paying twice as much now than they did 14 years ago.

workers are being screwed

Edited by longgone

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you need to earn £77700 to clear £1000 a week , i know some plumbers and plasterers that earn more than that and cash too are they working or middle class ?

By the traditional, outdated measure they would be working class because of the type of job they do. Low earners like teachers were always seen as middle class even though they have earned less than the trades for years.

If a class definition does still exist, I am not sure that a professional middle manager on £77k would be seen as middle class either, because that income would not buy them the traditional middle class lifestyle any more.

the real issue here is wages or lack off,

That is one of the issues, but high houses prices are the main problem.

Your example of earning £40k (£27k+£13k benefits) back in 1999 is a good one, because that probably would have got you on the housing 'ladder' at that time. You could have bought a £200k house with a 5% deposit and a 5x income mortgage.

Now that house is probably £750k, so someone in that job would not be able to afford it evne if their wage had tripled between 1999 and 2014. The fact wages have remained stagnant as well makes the problem even worse.

The original argument on this forum was that wages and house prices cannot keep growing apart indefinitely, but that is what has happened so far. Low interest rates have taken up the slack from an affordability perspective, but there are not many banks who will offer a 15x income mortgage just because wages have fallen behind house prices.

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i thought the class system was all but dead ?

you either have money or you don`t in my eyes .

I'm not sure it's that simple. It's not like it's only openly "middle-class" people who keep the class system alive. As someone with parents still in Essex, I'm fully aware that there are plenty of wealthy middle-class people there with mockney accents that refer to themselves as working-class even though they'd have to go up about 3 generations to identify an ancestor with a "humble upbringing".

These same people feel perfectly comfortable with this idea that they are working class yet live in a £600-700k family house, tend to give money to their children "to get a foot on the ladder" and have very "middle-class" attitudes towards property.

In my opinion, once you live in that kind of property, to claim that you are from a "more humble" social class than the average is pretty laughable.

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I'm not sure it's that simple. It's not like it's only openly "middle-class" people who keep the class system alive. As someone with parents still in Essex, I'm fully aware that there are plenty of wealthy middle-class people there with mockney accents that refer to themselves as working-class even though they'd have to go up about 3 generations to identify an ancestor with a "humble upbringing".

These same people feel perfectly comfortable with this idea that they are working class yet live in a £600-700k family house, tend to give money to their children "to get a foot on the ladder" and have very "middle-class" attitudes towards property.

In my opinion, once you live in that kind of property, to claim that you are from a "more humble" social class than the average is pretty laughable.

well i was brought up in queen of the suburbs ealing in a 4 bed detached worth about 1.5m by today`s money and i call myself working class from working class backgrounds and so would my parents.

maybe some people are more humble than others , i certainly don`t consider myself a cut above or value myself any less than anyone else.. But then on the other hand i have met people from poorer backgrounds and have very little behind them financially who consider themselves more middle class as a university education has provided them a spring board to it, ironically these are the very same people who have trouble knowing the value of money.

Edited by longgone

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i thought the class system was all but dead ?

you either have money or you don`t in my eyes .

Not at all.

My kids go to private school, the parents are pretty much universally middle class but there is one who I think got a big compo claim from an injury who sticks out. Another one run some kind of gypsy type business (fun fairs). They stick out a lot, in terms of clothing, accent, attitudes.

And those are just the ones that are choosing to pay for private education.

Being middle class is a state of mind really, trips to stately homes on the weekend, own lots of books, etc. My wife comes from a poor background (she grew up in a foreign country), but her middle class sensibilities are stronger if anything than mine. British Indian families with these striving attitudes have in very many cases made themselves financially middle class in a generation or less.

This state of mind has tended historically to result in financial success, but it's less and less certain these days.

Edited by bambam

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Being middle class is a state of mind really, trips to stately homes on the weekend, own lots of books, etc.

:lol:

i guess working class go out mugging old ladies and stealing phone`s from cars at the weekends :D

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These same people feel perfectly comfortable with this idea that they are working class yet live in a £600-700k family house, tend to give money to their children "to get a foot on the ladder" and have very "middle-class" attitudes towards property.

In my opinion, once you live in that kind of property, to claim that you are from a "more humble" social class than the average is pretty laughable.

I see where you are coming from, but aspirations in property were much higher in the last generation. A £600-£700k family house in a lot of areas in and around London is just the type of place where solid working class people from that generation would have lived.

I think a lot of people from that generation would look at someone from this generation claiming to be middle-class but living in a £1m terraced house and find that laughable.

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I think a lot of people from that generation would look at someone from this generation claiming to be middle-class but living in a £1m terraced house and find that laughable.

:lol: agreed

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