1. Governance
March 22, 2016

UK house prices just a hit a new record, and 75% of the public think future generations are screwed

By Jonn Elledge

So you know the way that people sometimes say, “This is a ‘good news, bad news’ kind of thing”? Yeah, this isn’t that. Don’t look for an upside, is what I’m saying here.

So, yesterday brought two bits of (bad) news about the UK housing market. One was about prices. They’re up – yes, again – and, according to figures compiled by RightMove, the average asking price just passed £300,000 for the first time. Terrific.

Also – it’s not just London any more. To quote the press release:

…the new record across England and Wales is being driven by momentum spreading across the north and west of the country, rather than in London, which has previously been the engine of house price growth.

Which sounds suspiciously like “contagion”.

In fact, prices have just hit new records in six of the eight English regions: the South West (£292,251), the South East (£399,680), the East of England (£326,836), the West Midlands (£204,140) and the North West (£177,437).

The sixth is London (£644,045), although:

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It said the London housing market is now split, with some boroughs seeing prices surge upwards and others seeing them drift downwards.

House prices can go down as well as up, of course (no, really they can). But the direction of travel is pretty clear. So what does the great British public make of all this?

Well, that’s the other piece of news: housing charity Shelter has commissioned pollster Ipsos Mori to find out. Here’s what they learned.

Firstly, today’s young people know they’re screwed compared to their parents…

…although note that not far off half their parents thought the same, compared to their parents.

In fact, nearly half of young people think they’ll never have a secure and permanent home:

(Relatively few older people think that about themselves – a reflection of the fact so many of them already own, one suspects.)

And finally, almost everyone – three quarters of the public – think that future generations will share in this mess:

So, to sum up, everything’s going to be fine.


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