The Evolution Of The UK Property Market
The property market has come a long way since the days that the first mortgage scheme was created in 1934and we realised that the difference between our living wage and the cost of houses was starting to break apart to create a substantial gap.
The property market has enjoyed numerous shake-ups since this time, in order to ensure people can afford housing and benefit from a roof over their head. Housing prices used to match wages and people could save up for a deposit in a reasonable amount of time but since then the money required has taken a steep curve up.
This resulted, of course, in council houses becoming the norm for families who struggled to buy and some social housing is still available today through smaller, part privately owned companies. In fact 20% of the housing stock is social housing these days.
Of course, the 70s and 80s had a huge impact on the property market and social housing, with Margaret Thatcher and her ‘right to buy’ scheme, which allowed people who could afford to buy their council home outright resulting in 1 million houses being sold in just ten years.
Things have moved on since, and now in 2015 house prices are at all time high, mainly due to buy-to-let investors jumping in on properties first time buyers can just about afford, therefore encouraging estate agents to bump up the price due to the competition. As it stands, if you earn the national average wage 93% of England and Wales would be beyond your means to buy.
People blame the baby boomer generation for the issue with housing, as they buy up smaller properties to rent out to contribute to their retirement nest egg. It’s hard to pin point whether this is the exact problem but it’s not the only contributing factor to the issue with the current UK property market.
Estate agents aren’t helping when it comes to costs, taking 1-3% of the value of the property as a fee and charging £25 to transfer files electronically at the click of a button. However, the UK property market has adapted slightly to meet the needs of the average buyer in this regard.
More companies are breaking the rules when it comes to buying and selling properties, with some businesses removing estate agents from the equation and We Buy Any Home offering fair cash prices for properties, with no fees.
The property market will surely continue to evolve until all we need is a computer, some images and perhaps a solicitor to contend with the legal side of things. At the moment it is too convoluted, it shuts out those who really need homes and supports those investors who aim to profit from properties they purchase.
London, naturally, is the location that features such a staggering evolution in property and prices, with nearly everyone being priced out of the city and people actually considering paying £500 a month for a cupboard under the stairs or a tent in a living room. While it might be fun to role play as Harry Potter on your down time, it’s not an ideal way to live.
The UK property market is only going to develop further to combat these issues – or we’re simply going to become a nation living with our parents until the age of 40 or forever renting.