Friday, October 6, 2006

Surely this is in no-one’s interest?

Graduates face home ownership woe

More than half of all graduates say they cannot afford to buy a home, a Scottish Widows survey suggests. High house prices combined with student debts are pushing property ownership out of the reach of many. Of the 3,500 people surveyed, 10% believe they will never be able to afford their own property.

Posted by wilee @ 05:42 PM (603 views)
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35 thoughts on “Surely this is in no-one’s interest?

  • Good – looks like recent graduates are getting wiser to the New Labour stealth Graduate Tax.

    New Labour is killing off the Graduate FTBs – who only have the choice of a) invest in their careers or b) invest in their homes – I am glad that this is the case as it may kill of the bubble.

    Sadly – New Labour care more about the false non-wealth creation that is a house price + debt bubble than they do about investing in the young (future wealth generators).

    What say a future in 10 years where 20% of the professional working population have no spare cash for pensions, deposits for ANY house and barely enough to cover basic utilities or living costs. Didn’t think of that Crash Gordon – did you?

    Here’s the breakdown (per annum):

    Average Grad salary (2006) = £18,500

    Take Home after tax = £14,000 (est.)

    Travel Costs (Petrol) = £1,300
    Car Insurance + Road Tax = £600
    Council Tax = £1,000
    Rent = £6,600
    Utilities = £1,000
    Food (Basics) = £1,500
    Student Loan Repayment (9% on gross wages over 15K) = £3,780
    By the way – Stud Loan Payments are taken at source PAYE so cannot budget this!!!!!!!

    Total = £15,780

    Yes that is a bit steep – maybe I got my figures wrong – I have had a beer!!!!!

    Or maybe they are right – I need another one!!!!!

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  • Sorry – yes – too much beer – should be £26 per month for Stud Loans – my bad.

    Still the total is nearer £12,500 – leaving you £1,500 a year to play with or £29 a week!!!

    Right no more maths!!

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  • Sorry – yes – too much beer – should be £26 per month for Stud Loans – my bad.

    Still the total is nearer £12,500 – leaving you £1,500 a year to play with or £29 a week!!!

    Right no more maths!! I am fallible after all!

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  • Sorry – just to elaborate a little more (i think I may have lost the audience):

    By 2010 the average toal grad debt is expected to be nearer £30,000 not the £13,000 for 2006.

    You do the math now.

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  • Well that is it then – The current Graduates are in exactly the same position as I was in the late 80s when I graduated.

    And Nu Labour should remember this – I still HATE the [email protected]#$ing Conservatives for their lack of regulation of the housing market/horrendous politically inspired IR rises and will never vote for them again until the last member of the Thatcher/Major cabinet is out of Govt/dead.

    I also intensely dislike Nu Labour too – but I suspect not with the intensity that the new batch of souls unlucky enough to have been born at the wrong time (like I was). Looking at the 6x average wage multiple that the houses have increased in price over what I faced I would hope that this block of young professional people will learn and never vote for the [email protected]%&#*d5 again.

    Use your vote wisely chaps. Do not forget this experience. I was in serious negative equity for 11 years.

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  • Here’s my breakdown of costs as a single graduate in the North East.

    Take-home pay £15000
    Travel Pass £700
    Council Tax £1000
    Rent £6000
    Utilities £700
    Food £1500
    Student Loan £360

    £10260

    There are of course other costs such as mobile contract, TV licence, insurance etc. I’m usually left with around £80 per week. If I were to take out a pension, I’d be left with £30 per week.

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  • nearly30,

    now this problem is going to get alot worse before it gets better. The tide is really against you. It’s ok if you want an IPOD or a foreign holiday but basic things like a roof over your head, heating, even food, an education and a pension will just get more and more expensive in real terms. Also because of governement incompetence, greed and their inability to control spending, high taxes are here to stay and will probably go higher before they ever look like going down. By all accounts the population due to uncontrolled immigration is forecast to expand rapidly adding fuel to the shortage of quality affordable housing. Personal debt will just keep on increasing at its breakneck speed. In parallel with this fictitous bubble economy there is also a real economy. This consists of industry which provides employment and possibly a tiny pension. Now unfortunately this real economy (industry) is slowly being destroyed through regulation and high taxes (to fund inefficient fanatasy land jobs in the public sector). What’s the outcome of all this? One day the fantasy land jobs will disappear togther with the real economy as well. Your standard of living will go down and you will just end up poor with a worthless currency in comparison to your foreign counterparts. In fact you are becoming poor now but you don’t realise it because it’s happening under the radar. Big problems ahead.

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  • SovUK.

    You have hit the nailon the head. Under Abraham Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” Theory. The fact that the basic needs ofan idividual are not met mean that society cannot progress. The hierarchy consists of five levels of needs; Physiological, Safety, Belonging, Esteem and Self-Actualisation. The natural progression is upward through the levels of this hierarchy. Maslow believed that the only reason people would not move upward in the direction of self-actualisation is because there are obstacles or hindrances placed in their path by society. Driving people and groups down through these levels is one the most damaging aspects of war. However instead of War we have economic disparity. What use is a University Education if you cannot afford a roof over your head? You will be worrying where your next meal is coming from rather than looking forward and outwards from self and family.

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  • SirGoogle “The current Graduates are in exactly the same position as I was in the late 80s when I graduated”
    Er, I don’t think so. Graduates were still reasonably respected in those days – now everyone is a graduate so it means nada!

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  • So the Maslow hierarchy is not being applied? If you think that the most important things in the economy — above all others — are decent housing for everyone, free and comprehensive health care, free good quality education for all and an adequate state funded social/pension provision for all then how do you get those?

    The market won’t let you do that. Markets are about winners and losers. Everyone can’t be a winner in a market system. So for all of the above you need a non-market sector that provides that underlying ubiquitous quality. To do that you need taxpayers money. That people know better how to spend their own money is a myth. Given the choice, would you rather spend *your* money on a new car, or on the wage for a carer for an older person?

    We are soon (ten years?) getting to the tipping point where the market view of the world is seen as benefiting less than 50% of the potential voting public. Then we will see a backlash. If we don’t, we’ll end up like the US. If you’re at the bottom of the pile tough. Life is crap. If you’re not, who cares about those nobodies anyway?

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  • Such_short_memories says:

    “The current Graduates are in exactly the same position as I was in the late 80s when I graduated”

    You forget that these days, those graduates who began university after 1998, and were unwise enough to be born into non-wealthy families, are now coerced into paying a 9% tax on everything they earn above 15k a year. This tax only applies to those from poorer backgrounds (as the graduates of the rich parents were able to pay fees and living costs up front – while depositing their offsprings student loan entitlements into high yielding accounts) and is incurred until what they ‘owe’ has been repaid. Many will be paying this tax for the rest of their lives.

    Previously, no students had to pay tuition fees and grants were available, so any postgraduate inequality as a result of parental wealth was much less stark. So, although I don’t know your personal position, SG, the current environment is quite dissimlar to that of the late 80’s.

    I have two questions which I ask myself from time to time, for which I have yet to arrive at answers:
    1. Why should I have to pay an extra 9% tax for the next 10-15 years just because of a means test on my parents? They aren’t me. They would never have to pay the tax. They would never suffer or benefit from my education. Why couldn’t the means test be based on my circumstances?
    2. What right did/do a bunch of politicians, who were each handed their university educations on a silver platter, have to withdraw the opportunity of a costless higher education from later generations? Thinking about the gaul of these people while they were devising this foul scheme makes me feel sick.

    Now, I have to pay the Government £1000’s of pounds, whereas the guy who sat in the lecture theatre next to me is potentially £108 richer every month just because of the wealth of his parents. I have done nothing wrong for this contrast to exist and he did nothing right, and there was no way for me to change it. What we have witnessed by this governments introduction of the current higher education system, is the manifestation of in individuals birth opportunity into pounds and pence, to such an extent that they have even created its own tax band!

    Forget value added tax, income tax and council tax. Many of us now pay also pay opportunity tax, the most regressive tax this country has ever seen, and you only pay for it if you have poor parents.

    The worst thing about this is that future graduates are going to have it a hell of a lot worse.

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  • It’s all about balance. Something we rarely achieve. The fact is that the UK’s social system has become a victim of it’s own success. It breeds, quite literally, generations without the work ethic. Add to this the now insurmountable cost of home ownership, high taxes (to feed the welfare state and at the same time help it attract more customers), employment instability and the need to constantly move on and you finally end up with the dysfunctional society we all now enjoy. But I will say, with a lot of hard work you can ‘make it’ in this country still. I was once a poor graduate. Now I make £2k+ a week in less than ten years since graduation. Still planning to move on (abroad, won’t say where, you’ll all laugh) as the money won’t be in the UK for long. Many a happy skiing trip will be taken down the red slopes of Mount Bubble soon enough, probably resulting in an avalanche.

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  • Dude….
    You miss a number of important points when you compare being down and out in the US and in Britain. First of all, the US is more affordable for all from the get-go. Everything here is twice as much and salaries don’t begin to compete with that multiple. Most employers in the US provide medical cover that, although not entirely without cost, to employees takes far less from their paycheck than the taxes paid here, and far outstrips what you can get from the NHS for “free.” Plus, you get treated right away. If you’re at the “bottom of the pile” in employment in the States the only thing stopping you is that you aren’t even trying to work your way out because you’re too busy accepting welfare payments or not thinking ahead. If you’re at the bottom in the UK [which is a fairly large area, not just of the impoverished, but an entire class of Clerical and Manual employees] you are truly stuck because you can’t progress no matter how much you’d like to since the gatekeepers of the social classes just won’t let you. This also includes most immigrant peoples unless they are extremely well educated. Natives of the UK are all aching to join the aristocracy they so desperately despise, and the “manual” worker is treated like trash, therefore, being one is truly a huge liablity which is hard to overcome once you are tainted in this way. Frankly, I’ve never seen such a clearly stratified class society as the one here in the UK. Ask anybody who works at Tesco’s, Starbucks, the dry cleaner, the convenience store, and all similar places in the UK whether life is “crap” or not and whether they feel they have a future. Ask them if they get help from the NHS when they need it or not and whether they have enough to live on. Better yet, get out there and talk to the multitudes of pensioners who can’t pay this ridiculous council tax and are eating cat food. You’ll find you don’t have to wait ten years to count 50% of the population as victims of class abuse.

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  • India, you seem to have rather a large chip on your shoulder – best get yourself out a bit more – if you treat people as if they are a ‘higher class’ than you, then you can’t be surprised when they reciprocate. Hold you head up, do a good job, then charge what the job is worth. Stop blaming your parents for your shortcomings.

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  • Personally I think India is talking sense. With the exception of when he says “Ask anybody who works at Tesco’s, ….. whether life is “crap” or not ”

    I think if I did that, you’d probably find that 50% had just secured their financial future by buying a small BTL shoebox at 12x income multiple.

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  • India – Apparantly the US is great and the UK is “crap” and you are a US citizen living in the UK that doesn’t make sense – or is it that you just don’t work at Tesco.

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  • Can anyone explain how the cost of investing in a university degree is recovered?
    I estimate the costs as follows:
    Loss os salary 3 years (in London) 90,000
    Fees 9,000
    Living expenses 3 years 30,000
    In total around 129,000

    This equates to a salary of say 250,000 (after tax and NI).

    Why bother when you can flip a few properties?

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  • I think there’s some truth in what India says. Can’t see where her parents come into it, or where she’s going on about being lower class (?).

    I wouldn’t want to be a graduate nowadays though. The average graduate salary has consistently dropped in the last ten or fifteen years, and when you factor out the top and bottom quartile, the average is probably around £15k. For someone who’s spent three or four years persevering at studying a difficult subject (there’s no such thing as an easy degree really), that’s a crap wage – if I was facing that I’d have wondered what the hard work was for and whether it was really worth it.

    And don’t tell me that mickey mouse degrees have devalued the merit of having a degree. The devaluation has been because of the soapbox effect, and employers have come to expect a degree from a good university, even though they’d never have been hired themselves with such criteria.

    Factor in as well that the wage won’t put them anywhere near the level to be able to afford their own house and all of a sudden you have a huge disincentive to work in the UK. If we didn’t have poor countries’ immigrant labour forces (who I’m convinced won’t actually be staying as long as we think), the figures would be deeply embarrassing for the government.

    So emmigration figures say it all really – 1 in 6 is seriously considering moving abroad. For under 30s that’s much higher too!

    No wonder.

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  • Not to leave anyone in suspense, the reason I write this is that I happen to know a lot of students who work just to exist in the meanest circumstances, besides have acquaintance of many other young people who have less education and won’t get more because they must work two jobs to survive, and pensioners trying to keep a job because they can’t exist on what they’ve got to rely on in old age who hold these jobs and I am ashamed that they are treated as they are, whilst having no hope of changing their position. Many employers here pay just over 5 pounds an hour. Who can live on that?

    I see the people where I live, in an expensive town, with their Land Rovers alluding to the existence of a non-existent country home running the rest of us off the road with their winches and tow bars that have no earthly purpose. Status, pure and simple. Who is this helping? I notice how the average worker anywhere in the UK gets treated. I find it disgusting. I don’t work at Tesco, or the convenience store, or any of those places, I’m not a student and I’ve had a reasonably successful existence and education and live comfortably myself. But I feel awful for those who are pushed down, talked down, held down, by a mean-spirited lot who spend more on boozing than the average person spends on a home. I imagine that the bankers, merchants and investment experts who have experience of better treatment as some who post here are totally unaware that this world exists in the UK. But it is the case with many I notice and my original point was, we have nowhere to go here, in years or attitude, to negatively compare with the US or anybody else in the maltreatment of people we perceive as “less.” I think it is time the UK stopped congratulating itself “well, at least we’re not so bad as they are” and wake up to just how a great number live here. I feel certain it is just me who “needs to get out more.”

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  • SORRY, A FEW TYPOS AND NEED TO POST THIS AGAIN IF I AM TO BE CLEAR….Not to leave anyone in suspense, the reason I write this is that I happen to know a lot of students who work just to exist in the meanest circumstances, besides I do have acquaintance of many other young people who have less education and won’t get more because they must work two jobs to survive, and pensioners trying to keep a job because they can’t exist on what they’ve got to rely on in old age — and I am ashamed that they are treated as they are, whilst having no hope of changing their position. Many employers here pay just over 5 pounds an hour. Who can live on that?

    I see the people where I live, in an expensive town, with their Land Rovers alluding to the existence of a non-existent country home running the rest of us off the road with their winches and tow bars that have no earthly purpose. Status, pure and simple. Who is this helping? I notice how the average worker anywhere in the UK gets treated. I find it disgusting. I don’t work at Tesco, or the convenience store, or any of those places, I’m not a student and I’ve had a reasonably successful existence and education and live comfortably myself. But I feel awful for those who are pushed down, talked down, held down, by a mean-spirited lot who spend more on boozing than the average person spends on a home. I imagine that the bankers, merchants and investment experts who have experience of better treatment as some who post here are totally unaware that this world exists in the UK. But it is the case with many I notice and my original point was, we have nowhere to go here, in years or attitude, to negatively compare with the US or anybody else in the maltreatment of people we perceive as “less.” I think it is time the UK stopped congratulating itself “well, at least we’re not so bad as they are” and wake up to just how a great number live here. I feel certain it is not just me who “needs to get out more.”

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  • By the way, I am sure that Inbreda is correct in assuming that people in these bottom of the barrel jobs, with ridiculous hourly wages and no job security, are still buying homes at remarkable multiples of their income. It makes me shudder to think what an enormous number of dispossesed there will be here in the future. How could any half way conscientious government allow this? And when I hear that Tescos, already my acknowledged pet peeve, made 1 billion in profits during the first two quarters of the year through the horrible treatment of their employees I could just vomit.

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  • David20040_0 says:

    I graduated with a 2:1 LLB Law degree and my wage is pitiful, an LLB is a hard degree but I personally believe that I will never be able to buy my own property.

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  • bidin'matime says:

    Indiablue19 said “you can’t progress no matter how much you’d like to since the gatekeepers of the social classes just won’t let you”, hence my reference to class, and her parentage? (I’m guessing India’s a ‘she’) – Well, if class is perceived as a barrier to progression, then it must be assumed that someone is born in a particular class, so it was their parents’ fault!

    However, to explain my position – I had no privileged upbringing – I was one of four, born in South East London in my grandmother’s back bedroom (it still had only an outside loo when I was well into my teens). My father went to night school when we were children, to improve his career prospects, and brought us up to be hard-working.

    I went to university in the 70’s, with parental encouragement, if not financial assistance, and started a small business whilst there (which was more educational than remunerative..). With my (now) wife, who was a trainee nurse, we bought our first home – a mobile home – with a bank loan. Sold a year later (for a loss..) then bought a semi-derelict house that everyone thought was too much of a wreck for us (with no experience of DIY..). Did it up, worked damned hard to pay the mortgage, moved on, etc,. etc.

    We got hit by the last property crash and unfortunately traded down in a defensive mood in the mid-nineties, when history tells us we should have been gearing up, but that’s life. We still sold for a good price and are currently enjoying a break from DIY, renting someone else’s house for less than the interest we get on the sale proceeds. And still working hard!

    And my advice to my recently graduated son (who went to state school and through uni on a student loan, with only modest help from us) – Don’t buy a house – wait for the market to drop, as it will, in the meantime work damned hard at whatever job you can get, keep looking out for opportunities to better yourself (which he has) and make the most of what life has to offer.

    Anyone who believes that there is a class system keeping them down will always be down and deserves a kicking as they lie in the gutter asking for it. I deal with the “bottom of the pile” (as India put it) in social state, but being an accountant, the people I deal with are all out there making a way for themselves, the small builders, window cleaners, car dealers, you name it. I see the others walk past my window, many with a can of Stella in one hand, and wish that their hard-working neighbours (and I) didn’t have to subsidise their leisurely existence. But if you have a social welfare state, then inevitably someone will abuse it. It’s just a shame that it gives them the luxury of blaming the rest of us for their eventual plight, defending their position as “victims of class abuse”.

    Having said all that, I agree that many who do work are being led, like lambs to the slaughter, down the BTL route, by lenders who ought to know better. But it’s a free country – they could think about it and work it out for themselves (or read this site!). And this has nothing to do with class – people of all backgrounds are going down the same route.

    Sorry for the rant, but ‘class’ is as much a creation of those who perceive themselves to be at the bottom as those who think they are at the top.

    Oh, and I’ve been to the US and wont go back – too many beggars, whether on the streets or serving in restaurants, or working in convenience stores – the ‘slip me a dollar or I might make life uncomfortable for you’ mentality made me feel ill.

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  • blimey bidin, I think india has rubbed you up the wrong way today!

    To chip in with my own two cents, for what it is worth, I think that the differing understanding of ‘class’ between Brits, and Americans, is quite clear from the above debate. Class in the US is based upon wealth, where as Class in Britain (although becoming more like the US) is more about breeding. Both of these elites find the other repugnant.
    Interestingly, niether of these two views of class reflect the interpretation of say Karl Marx, whose views are the essance of ‘class war’ theory and thus the foundation for most understanding of class conflict. For Marx(ists) the definition of ‘working class’ is more like ‘he who must sell his labour in order to exist, and who can only exist via the selling of his labour’ . This definition is pretty wide, and in modern times would include all but the very wealthy, usualy land owning, ‘elite’ .
    While this elite does not prevent those from a poorer background working hard and bettering themselves, ‘they’ certainly monopolise and control key positions in both US and UK societies.
    So while bidin is right that the ‘elite’ cannot fairly be blamed for every barrier to personal progression that exists, it also true, as India suggests, that the elite class exercises various forms of control over those who must scrap for the crumbs beneath their (round) table.
    It is not accidental that the waters on this issue are often deliberately muddied, and in the UK, there is always much misleading debate about what is class? ‘is class still an issue? and members of the elite claiming that ‘they work’ so must be ‘working class’ etc.
    Nobody in the UK or US ‘elite class’ really want definitions such as proletariet (worker) and bourgeoisie (capitalist) to re-enter the common vocabulary!!
    But they will.

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  • I don’t encounter these oppressed masses of people desperately trying to throw off their schakles but being held down by the mean spirited proletariat and I’ve been to Tescos. I think your rant is 50 years too late.

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  • I see what you’re saying holding out, but I think you’re missing something.

    Consider how you would expect the modern equivalent to be.

    Consider that the game has become a lot less brutal, a lot more subtle and a lot more intelligent.

    A few hundred years ago, if you wanted a slave, you bought a slave. You can’t do that any more. Nowadays if you want a slave – someone to work for you for no remuneration – how would you do it? For starters you’d make sure taht however you do it, the slave was blissfully unaware. How about if you had the ability to manipulate interest rates? Create a bubble. Own the bank that lends the money. Encourage fools to pay vast sums of money for an asset before pulling the rug from beneath their feet. What’s left? A lot of people who still owe you vast sums of money, who can be legally forced to repay it even if the bottom falls out of their asset (oo-er!).

    To think that incredibly wealthy individuals don’t do this stuff would mean to assume that they haven’t thought of doing it, of their morals somehow prevent them from doing it. Both of which are bunkum.

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  • The people who created the bubble are those who borrow ever higher amounts to buy the same asset and these are generally middle earners trying to make a easy buck.

    The idea of a group of people who own and control all the institutions (private and state) with the sole intention of supressing and making money out of the poor working classes is far fetched. You give them too much credit – even if they wanted to do that they couldn’t organise it. It’s just another conspiracy theory.

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  • What I resent personally is that the house price lending boom has turned morons into “financial geniuses”, for doing no work at all.

    Hard work is relegated to the preserve of suckers renting their rooves and the social underclass. The social overclass isn’t working as a tight-knit group. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and every time they decide that buying another BTL property is a good idea, they are denying someone else a place to live affordably.

    No conspiracy there, but the government is not really doing its job.

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  • bidin'matime says:

    TickTock – was that an intended pun – India being a rubber?? I’ve got over that now – that’s the trouble with Sundays and no DIY – too much time to think!

    I tend to agree with Holding on the subject of the lenders – I don’t believe that they have any more interest in this bubble than do the borrowers – they want to perpetuate it now it’s here, because the alternative is pretty nasty for them as well as the borrowers, but if they were really in control then they wouldn’t have let it get to this position. Even the government can’t control it now. When it goes pop it will leave a lot of people with egg on their faces – maybe not the same as bankrupt and homeless, but when you are at the top of Maslow’s hierarchy, ie think you have achieved ‘self-actualisation’ (Gordon Brown?), and events prove you to have been a complete idiot (Gordon Brown!), it’s no less traumatic.

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  • This lending/borrowing craze is this decades “venture capital” lending chaos of the 80’s/90’s, where bankers would get bigger bonuses the more money they lent, so they lent all they wanted to any old project, skyscrapers on the Mexico City geological fault line etc. Remember that nearly took out Midland Bank, now part of HSBC. Bubble’s are just another symptom of how most people move (think) in herds, which is even more pronounced these days because of the media, i.e., the BBC . . . it’s the unique way it’s funded!

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  • Inbreda….
    Spot on. You take my meaning exactly with the example you give. There are many like it if we had time to write a book on the subject. Otherwise, enjoyed the discussion all, interesting to know your various points of view and air our common or uncommon view of the hierarchy here and elsewhere.

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  • Tick Tock makes an interesting point – those with actual assets continue to gain more power while with those without power labour under the illusion of success (no real assests just debt).

    Graduate Tax is merely a smoke-screen – the elite / wealthy wil never been affected by cost as a barrier to success.

    However, what is now being created is that the ‘norm’ is to be ‘in-debited’ as a means of success – not talent. And what future generation is created there – what moral compass – what benchmark?

    The current graduate system is based on ‘old’ assumptions – 1000s are being lied to and kept off the employed/unemployment list – only to find themselves under-employed and massively in debt 3 years later (ref: all articles about under 30s and marriage, births, housing etc).
    Bring on the ‘boomerang/internship’ generation (joke)!!!

    Things are really getting out of hand for the ‘youth’ – I cannot stress this any more.

    Fundamentally, you need a roof over your head – it is a moral right after all !!!

    Isn’t it in the Human Rights Convention:

    UN = “Adequate housing is universally viewed as one of the most basic human needs”

    Difficult when Council Tax + Rent = £7,500 a year

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  • Wages are not rising. In real terms they are in reverse. Mortgages used to be 15 years long in the 18th century, enough time to pay off the loan as 15 years was the typical working lifetime. This increased to 25 years. This is all very well, but does anyone expect to keep working for 35 years now, when the average age of a FTB is 35 (so retirement at 70, okay it’s in the Govts plan for pensions) and keep working without a period of unemployment over this period? I don’t think so. Remember, no housing benefit to keep you in your house any more, which was the stabilising factor in all this 15 years ago during the last recession. Next recession, lot’s of houses on the market, falling prices, media hype, . . .family break ups, dysfunctional children, crime, depression, suicides. Why can’t we ever get this stability thing right in this country?

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  • nearly 30…..
    So true. Don’t know how many times it’s been said how many “millionaires” we now have in Britain when, actually, that’s millions in debt, not assets. It is an incredible illusion to be pulling and astounding how many are just put out because they can’t get in on the game, or absolutely thrilled that they are “in” and striving like mad to be the biggest debtor of all owning a home that nobody in his right mind would want at such a price. Somehow, everybody is vying with each other, pitted against their neighbor, to own a mirage, knocking themselves out, working two jobs, and feeling just grand to be able to participate in a total scam in competition with monpolists and autocrats who need barely lift finger to stay head of the pack and keep raising the bar for all others. If there’s any purpose left in the HPC website — while waiting for the meltdown –it is to blow the whistle on such nonsense wherever possible.

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  • Nearly30 . . . what have you started?

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