I think I might have to change my tune. Money Saving Madam is in a mood. Month one of saving has ended and I can report that there is nothing in the pot. Zara’s profits have dropped by 10% but we’re still in the red. Perhaps I don’t care for the property ladder after all.
If it isn’t enough that my own bank account is against me, so are the statistics.
It costs approximately one arm and one leg to buy a home. The average property is 5 times the average salary. The proportion of first-time buyers able to buy a home without financial assistance has hit an all time low. Just 17%.
With rising rents, the cap on university fees removed, and a desperate employment market, it is hard to see how the next generation are ever going to conjure up the savings.
Actually, sod the next generation. How am I ever going to conjure up the savings?
Perhaps home ownership is overrated anyway. How often I hear people talk of their ‘cursed mortgage’. The mortgage is the reason they stay in a job they hate, why they cannot holiday at will, and why they endlessly wait for the day it is paid off and they are free.
Common wisdom (which is far removed from common sense) is that you should take on the largest mortgage that you can afford. By doing this you are able to trick people into thinking you have enough money to live in the smart part of town. And because your mortgage is just more than you can really afford, you have effectively made yourself poor.
Renters amongst you will be familiar with the phrase ‘throwing money down the drain.’
Let us examine the moral high-ground of our homeowner friends.
Say they have a £200,000 mortgage. On a 25 year term they will pay well over £240,000 in interest. So the idea that they own their house is a myth. The bank owns it, and is selling it back to them at a ludicrous mark up.
£440,000 for a £200,000 flat? I think wonga.com has better rates.
To me it seems that the mortgage system is just an organised method of throwing money down a different drain. I can’t deny that I’d still like my own front door, but for now, I’ll lease the one I’ve got and try and keep the usurers away from it for another month.