Snakes and property ladders

The London Evening Standard last week revealed first-time buyer homes that you can bag for less than £100,000. A deal and a half…if you don’t mind shared ownership with three other buyers.

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King’s Crescent, Hackney once had a reputation for being a bit “rough around the edges”. But the ex council estate has been rescued and restored, boosting colour and variety into the area. The new 800-home regeneration also gives people a chance to take their first steps onto the Goliath that is the London property ladder.

Obviously, renting a property is anxiety provoking enough, but laying down a deposit for a mortgage is a completely different affair altogether, especially in the Big Smoke. According to an Evening Standard article last year, London was named the most expensive city in the world in which to reside, ahead of New York, Hong Kong and Paris.

But why is this the case?

Dawn Foster, a journalist for the Guardian suggests that “scarcity” is a problem, and that “Britain simply isn’t building enough housing to meet the demand for homes.”

“Part of that is due to a brick shortage that began before the recession, and a skills shortage: British workers predominantly don’t want to be builders, and the rhetoric against hiring in skilled workers from the EU and beyond also stymies attempts to build more,” she wrote.

Supply and demand of the city could therefore explain why the average house price in the UK is £282,000, compared to London’s average of £525,000, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The deal with King’s Crescent is that you get a 25% share in a one-bedroom flat for £98,750 outright – meaning if you want to buy the whole property it’ll cost you £395,000. Rental works out as £679 a month as well as additional bills such as service charge and mortgage.

Northern born Josh Fletcher, a 24-year-old bartender said “You get a bedsit in London for the same price as a two bedroom, decent furnished flat in Sunderland or Newcastle,” adding “f***ing extortionate!” Friend of Fletcher, Matthew Preece, 23, added “I’d rather live in a house up here (Northern England) than a box down there.”

Results from a Holloway Hotspot survey carried out regarding the cost of living in London revealed that 78% of participants agreed that £98,750 for a flat was ruthless. Just over 85% also went on to indicate that living in London was unaffordable all together, 42% giving this as the main reason they do not live in the capital.

And in true British style, the public ripped into the Evening Standard, as well as the government, with fierce opinions:

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