Sunday, Nov 26, 2006

Pack them in and stack them high

TimesOnline: The living room keeps on getting smaller

Britain is now building the smallest homes in Europe according to think tank. While the rest of Europe builds houses on an average sized plot of 100 sq metres the British squeeze them into a paltry 76 sq m.

Posted by denzil @ 09:58 AM (496 views)
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1. japanese uncle said...

Congratulations on the result of the Economic Miracle!?

Sunday, November 26, 2006 11:19AM Report Comment

2. nearly30 said...

I keep on ascertaining - this country is going backwards - we are creating an economy similar to that of the 19th century - and the article reflects that we are creating a modern version of the tenement slums of old. It will probably be another few decades before the 'new' flimsy and overcrowded starter homes are torn down - as was he back-2-back houses of old.

When driving about recently I see the same over-crowded development springing up - I call them 'Strageways' developments.

Although - prisons are more attractive!!

A very sad time for architecture, art, the economy and society indeed.

Sunday, November 26, 2006 12:12PM Report Comment

3. Surfgatinho said...

Another best in Europe! Hoorah!

Sunday, November 26, 2006 12:55PM Report Comment

4. d'oh said...

The problem is that the sheeple are willing to pay 200k for this. I won't rent one either. Would rather rent an 80s or earlier house of a decent size.

Sunday, November 26, 2006 01:06PM Report Comment

5. glorious sunshine said...

You are all probably right!

However, I was in a rather pleasant Italian restaurant Saturday evening. Looking around me 95% of the customers were in their 20s and early/mid 30s. Later that evening, I was watching Parkinson and one of his guests was Noel from band Oasis. Noel was talking about how bad things were when he was growing up, signing on the dole with everyone else he knew in the area even their dads were in the line with them with no hope. He also said they had no carpets on the floor at home. I thought, what does that say about the young adults of today?

Perhaps Gordon Brown was right saying we have never had it so good?

Sunday, November 26, 2006 04:32PM Report Comment

6. paul said...

glorious sunshine, unless you're stupid, or rather as you're stupid, you might not have noticed that the economic miracle is funded on borrowed money. Anyone can pull a rabbit out of a hat, as long as they don't have to do it twice.

The current "economic growth" is based on borrowing, and therefore inherently unsustainable. Still, it's served America well. Oh, no it hasn't. Property market in a tailspin, dollar losing value faster than a new build FTB flat.

You comparison with Noel from Oasis? Give me strength. What does he do with his new found wealth? Snorts it up his nose while hoping that no-one notices that actually .. they're not very good.

Sunday, November 26, 2006 05:25PM Report Comment

7. glorious sunshine said...


The point I was making about Noel was his background in Manchester - which was pretty common in those days for most of the country - not what he has done or is doing with his life. So youre the one thats stupid.

Young adults today are living it up in fancy restaurants. The working class up until the recent past could only hope for a good basic meal, clothing and ANY roof over their head - not as it is today designer this or that - 'd'oh' said he would rather rent an 80's or earlier house, he his lucky he has a choice so is privileged from where I am standing.

Sunday, November 26, 2006 06:07PM Report Comment

8. nearly30 said...

It's sunday - so i'm not in the glorius sunshine knocking mood - so I will keep it general.

[1] Noel is a classic working class man done good - 1 in 1,000,000 - not much of a trend there.
[2] "Young adults today are living it up in fancy restaurants" - where? London/SouthEast maybe - I live t'up North and you won't catch many doing that up here.
[3] Noel's experiences are still here - [please read the recent unemployment data - go on educate yourself] - where I live we have 1,000s of people in the same situation - continued underinvestment, poor training, poor education and poor jobs - sorry to shake your 'rosey' paradigm - but things are not as good as you think.

For your info - read

"A cloistered metropolitan elite is in denial about Britain",,1929926,00.html

Quote from article [Writer: John Harris]:

"Just before this year's local elections, I spent time in Stoke-on-Trent - omitted from Phil and Sofie's top 10, but probably bubbling under - where the BNP were snapping at the heels of a broken-down Labour party, sending round leaflets that read less like the Potteries' take on Mein Kampf than something put out by the Socialist Workers' party ("Labour betray the working man and woman - potteries, mining steel ... all destroyed"). The regenerated urban wonders of Manchester were less than an hour away, yet here were scenes that are actually more common than some people would like to believe: walled-up factories, Poundstretcher shops, low-paid service-sector jobs, and the abiding sense that the good life was happening somewhere else. A couple of days later I ended up discussing all this with a former editor of a tabloid newspaper, who looked at me as if I was slightly mad. His counterargument was based on the usual mirage of limitless affluence and what used to be known as embourgeoisement: "Britain is booming," he snapped back."

Sunday, November 26, 2006 06:40PM Report Comment

9. nearly30 said...

I'm in the mood for some more stats now - so here's something more for you to chew over glorius.

12 million Britons live on or below the poverty line, defined in the case of a two-adult household at 180 per week.

20% in old money! Although - some figures have it at 25% With 1 in 3 children in poverty!!

Read Oxfam's facts about UK poverty =

Anyone fancy a trip to a 'fancy' restaurant to celebrate???

Phrase of the day = 'Purchasing Power Parity" - yes we maybe rich but we can still be poor!

Sunday, November 26, 2006 06:50PM Report Comment

10. tyrellcorporation said...

Going back to the article. Does anyone else find it ironic that houses are getting smaller and people are, by both weight and height, getting bigger. The image of Gandalf in the Baggin's house springs to mind!!!

Sunday, November 26, 2006 07:54PM Report Comment

11. glorious sunshine said...

There will always be the haves and the have nots, thats what makes the world go round. The gap between has been widening for decades. We all have choices in life and reading most posts here, you lot have obviously decided which side you want to be on.

Renters recommend renting while home owners recommend buying. It all depends on who you talk to. As a good friend once said, its all very well listening to someones advise but take a good look at who is giving it. Sound advise indeed.

After the second world war was the greatest opportunity for the working class masses, sadly we are reverting back to the good (read bad) old days of previous. Most are too busy enjoying themselves in restaurants to notice.

Life never has been easy but for what its worth life buying is far, far better than life renting in my opinion.

Sunday, November 26, 2006 08:03PM Report Comment

12. inbreda said...

Glorious - do me a favour - promise me you won't leave these blogs.

Monday, November 27, 2006 09:36AM Report Comment

13. tyrellcorporation said...

Why is Buying better?

A four bed house to rent in Exeter is about #1000 per month for a nice one in a good area. To buy the same property is #1800 a month (typically). I can move easily if I need to change jobs or get onto a higher salary or improve career prospects. The opportunity cost of having cash in the bank is a huge positive - I can invest or spend as I like and liquidity means I can move swiftly as opportunities arise. If something breaks or I need appliances replacing I phone the landlord who has to fix it. If I have noisy neighbours I can simply move. As for downsides, I can't put up posters of Angelina Jolie and I have to watch out my son doesn't go mad with a biro on the walls... I'll stick with renting for now and good luck with the house sale Glorious when the shinola hits the fan!

You must be even a teensy bit worried you'll be locked in negative equity for a decade!?! No tall lattes and almond croissants for you my friend!

Monday, November 27, 2006 09:45AM Report Comment

14. Dohousescrashinthewoods said...

Hi Glorious, good to see you getting stuck in.

I would agree with Glorious there is something to the statement that on average, the standard of living has increased around the UK. Debt-fuelled or not, "coke" fuelled or not, I have seen laminate floors, halogen spots and Hi-Fi in "working class" homes north of Watford as well as south. More a mirage than a miracle economy, but here we are nonetheless.

I don't think as a nation we will ever be able to get everybody out of poverty, but for some at least, the standard of living is better, albeit the financial pressures may be worse (as Paul points out). How many outside toilets are left these days?

Has anyone done a like-for-like comparison?
What I would like to know is whether, (in real terms, e.g. as a % of the average) the distribution is getting wider or narrower.
Perhaps it's all much the same - poor still poor, rich still rich, just gradual progress turning outside toilets into laminate floors?

Monday, November 27, 2006 01:13PM Report Comment

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