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El_Pirata

The Independent Makes Some Ammends

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House price rise is bad news for many

Sir: Your front-page story of 20 December under the headline "Now for some good news" includes one story which will not seem such good news to much of the population. There are clear winners when house prices rise, and many feel very good about paper wealth. However, these winners are not equitably distributed across the UK.

What about those hard working families that have maxed out their mortgage only to find that as property prices have risen, and the rungs of the "property ladder" have moved farther apart, they are now unable to trade up to a bigger property in which to provide room for their children?

What about those who have worked and saved hard to pay for a one-bedroom property but now wish to start a family? Many now find themselves unable to cope on a single income, let alone trade up to a two-bedroom property. Are further price rises good news for them?

What about first-time buyers? They continue to be squeezed out of the market and find their lives on hold, stuck in extended adolescence. When do they get to start their real lives?

Only those at the very top of the "property ladder" and in their most expensive property truly benefit. The rest of us will eventually suffer from increased mortgage payments. The real long-term cost of servicing this debt in a low-inflation world means that we will pay significantly more of our lifetime earnings than previous generations to provide a home for our families.

As a nation we have become obsessed with "easy money". It is time to take a step back. We cannot for ever keep our economy going by borrowing against asset price increases, no matter how good it feels in the short term. This distortion is no longer purely economic; it is also increasingly socially damaging.

M J C WARNER

HAMPTON HILL, MIDDLESEX

Sir: When the cost of fuel or food increases this is seen as bad news - why is an increase in the cost of shelter good news?

Those who benefit from the increased cost of housing are the mortgage lenders, speculators, the big developers with their land banks and those individuals who have made their final purchase. Even in the last group, many will have children and grandchildren who cannot aspire to the standard of living that their parents enjoyed as they struggle to pay ever-higher mortgages.

House price inflation does allow home owners to take out second mortgages - now known as "releasing equity". This may allow increased consumption in the short term, but does eventually have to be paid back.

The suggestion that "house prices should be rising between 5 and 15 per cent per year" is surely cause for alarm. I have not seen any predictions for wage inflation exceeding the 4.5 per cent that the Monetary Policy Committee considers a safe level. Does this mean we will have a lower proportion of home-owners in the future as fewer would-be first time buyers can buy? This amounts to a massive transfer of wealth from the relatively poor to the relatively rich and from the young to older generations.

I would ask that in future articles pointing out the "good news" that house prices are rising, you consider identifying who this is good news for, and which groups lose out. Misleading reporting in the media has persuaded many home-owners that increases in the cost of housing are indeed a good thing.

LYNDA CARROLL

EDINBURGH

Sir: There are many of us out there - the so called "key workers" (nurses, teachers, hospital lab staff etc), for whom the news of rising house prices is bad news. Although we do vital jobs, many of us cannot afford to even consider buying our own homes, as our salaries are just not enough to cover mortgage payments on a house anywhere in the south of England.

All of the words to come from the Government about affordable housing for key workers remain just that - words. Unless there is drastic action either in terms of public sector pay or in terms of key worker housing, many of us remain condemned never to have the security of owning our own homes.

JOANNA SELWOOD

THATCHAM, BERKSHIRE

Sir: My son is a junior doctor working in one of the leading London teaching hospitals. He has studied and worked for nine years and is faced with a further period of at least seven years to become a consultant. He cannot afford to buy even the most basic of property in London. We now have an impoverished younger generation of non-property owners. A further increase in property values will be distinctly bad news for them.

GERRY LYNCH

NUTBOURNE, WEST SUSSEX

http://comment.independent.co.uk/letters/article334434.ece

Well done if any of these people are HPC-ers!

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Credit to everyone who contacted them (including me! :) ). For every letter they print you can guarantee there will be another 1000 behing them. The independent has taken a verbal beating that is for sure!!!

Edited by Spikey

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All of the words to come from the Government about affordable housing for key workers remain just that - words. Unless there is drastic action either in terms of public sector pay or in terms of key worker housing, many of us remain condemned never to have the security of owning our own homes.

There's always The Third Way: A drastic reduction in house prices.

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Good news: Letters were published and are in the press for all to see.

Not so good news: the letters are from HPCers, not the general public.

As Chairman Mao said a journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single footstep...

Well done Boys and Girls you all deserve the a clap ;)

Seriously though it proves they listen, and like Spikey said I bet they listen because there were many not just three complaints [but a special congratulations goes out to those three] And just maybe it will get journalist's thinking, you know these people are right. They the journ's are victims also in that they fall for all this "rising prices means you become wealthy" VI Spin, and they might just start writing articles in that vain.

Edited by Catch22

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Well done Boys and Girls you all deserve the a clap ;)

Indeed, but the trouble is the Mail, Mirror, Sun, Telegraph and most other rags will continue to print VI spin till Kingdom come, and even the Independent will not be unduly worried by a couple (of thousand) objections. The VI machine is very powerful. We need a large hammer to crack a tiny nut.

VP

Edited by VacantPossession

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As Chairman Mao said a journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single footstep...

Well done Boys and Girls you all deserve the a clap ;)

Seriously though it proves they listen, and like Spikey said I bet they listen because there were many not just three complaints [but a special congratulations goes out to those three] And just maybe it will get journalist's thinking, you know these people are right. They the journ's are victims also in that they fall for all this "rising prices means you become wealthy" VI Spin, and they might just start writing articles in that vain.

Hi,

Maybe, the only thing I would say about the Indie is that they are the worst offender, after the BBC, within the media who will not even mention the "F" (fall) word, you will never see any deeper analysis in that paper about the current economy that will enter into "F" word territory. As the course of day to day business I pretty much read all the broadsheets each day. At the least the Times are pretty consistent on their tack and don't skirt around the issue, even if I don't agree with them. I've said it before, they (the Independent) are the most hypocritical of all the papers on this theme, I have just never had reason to express this before here but I have been following their analysis closely alonside the others, particularly over the past 24 months or so when it became obvious that something seriously wrong had already developed in the housing market.

During the course of day to day things I also have opportunity to keep an eye on the exchanges in the commons and the legislate. Now, SIPPS was as much a political climbdown by NuLab as it was a financial, cost-prohibitive one for the chancelor to pursue. There was quite an active pursual of the subject by several MPs over the previous two years and was a key issue amonst the LibDems, particularly those representing rural districts where second home ownership and lack of affordabilty were key issues to the constituency. The Independent were about the only broadsheet that gave NO commentary on the subject. Even the Times gave some space to it. I am not sure what the position is there for them but as a paper that proports to be "independent", it's very strange that they are about the only one who seem to have no commentary or issue either way with something that even NuLab have developed draft policy to tackle. Very odd. Maybe most of their Journos have just bought or something.

Still, they are happy to play the socially conscious, bleeding heart liberals when it comes to Global warming, third world famine, naughty Mr Bush, nuclear power or, yes, single-parent lesbian dolphins and fluffy white seal pups sitting on artctic flows. Terrible, terrible, hypocrisy by faux-tree huggers. Not that there is anything wrong with hugging trees at all, just as long as you are consistent on tree-hugging issues.

Boomer

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Guest horace

Should we be surprized?

Take for example `petitions` handed in under the glare of the media spotlight to number 10.

What happens?

Nothing!

And you think a few letters to a `history` sorry `news` paper will make a difference? Think on.

Protest, protest, protest.

It`s not worth a row of beans.

Plough your own furrow that way one can become a KBE.

horace KBE

:D:D:D

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Still, they are happy to play the socially conscious, bleeding heart liberals when it comes to Global warming, third world famine, naughty Mr Bush, nuclear power or, yes, single-parent lesbian dolphins and fluffy white seal pups sitting on artctic flows. Terrible, terrible, hypocrisy by faux-tree huggers. Not that there is anything wrong with hugging trees at all, just as long as you are consistent on tree-hugging issues.

Boomer

That's because complaining about housing apparently is churlish when there are people starving etc.

In a big picture way that is true. But charity begins at home, and we need to sort out our own mess rather than be quietly ripped off.

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That's because complaining about housing apparently is churlish when there are people starving etc.

In a big picture way that is true. But charity begins at home, and we need to sort out our own mess rather than be quietly ripped off.

Excellent summary.

VP

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I think the important thing about this moral victory is the fact that we (i did complain) and obviously others have complained on THEIR headline where THEY presumed that it was good news. The actual data they published was bullish beyond belief but thats not what I disputed.

They realise as journalists that maybe you are right, Its not good news for the majority of people and we accept that it may have been a bit presumptious.

Anyway, whether something is published or not, I will still write to all the press when they are bang out of order.

Well doon to all who complained. I am sure it is not JUST HPC's that complained.

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I think the important thing about this moral victory is the fact that we (i did complain) and obviously others have complained on THEIR headline where THEY presumed that it was good news. The actual data they published was bullish beyond belief but thats not what I disputed.

They realise as journalists that maybe you are right, Its not good news for the majority of people and we accept that it may have been a bit presumptious.

Anyway, whether something is published or not, I will still write to all the press when they are bang out of order.

Well doon to all who complained. I am sure it is not JUST HPC's that complained.

Hi,

Absolutely. That was partly my point. I am surprised they did make the ammendments given my own personal observations of their reporting over the intervening period. Well done to both.

Boomer

Edited by boom_and_bust

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Don't be surprised. Media outlets want to sell so they reinforce and confirm their audience's world view and concerns.

In this case call it the hypocritical liberal middle classes. "Of course I care, but guess what my house is now worth".

My cynical side calls it "The Abbott Syndrome".

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Unless there is drastic action either in terms of public sector pay or in terms of key worker housing, many of us remain condemned never to have the security of owning our own homes.

... and if there is action in terms in terms of public sector pay or in terms of key worker housing then many of the private sector workers who are just managing to keep things together while having their teeth crack under the current tax regime will finally buckle under the added tax burden and house price inflation that would result from robbing them further to pay the currently inflated prices for houses for public sector workers to live in.

This sort of view is just unacceptable in my view. Why should private sector workers who have it hard enough as it is pay more tax and see a further resulting inflation in house prices just so that public sector workers can get houses bought for them? Build more houses for heaven's sake! Stop impoverishing everybody to pay the current ridiculous prices! :angry:

Edited by Levy process

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  • 301 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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