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millenials can't afford houses because they're brunching (or not)

(175 Posts)
Waterdown Mon 17-Oct-16 10:46:46

Forgive the Aussie dollar references - I believe the same sort of price hike applies in London too, though.

I remember getting very short shrift from a friend's daughter at a party when I wondered if all the mini-breaks/holidays she'd had in the last year would be better put towards a deposit blush blush We're very close, like family almost, and I worded it much more carefully than that, but boy did I get shot down in flames!

Jalima Mon 17-Oct-16 11:40:01

My own DC have noticed the difference between what they call Gen X (do without, save for a deposit for a house, a bit like the older generation) and Gen Y - carefree, eat out all the time, have fun, why worry about tomorrow!

Not everyone lives in Sydney where house prices are similar to London, and not everyone in the UK lives in London.

You can't generalise though.

Elegran Mon 17-Oct-16 11:52:55

When we were living in our first tiny house in 1963 (mortgaged up to the eyebrows), our neighbours (in a similar house) took an elderly aunt out for lunch. She looked around disapprovingly at the young couples dining at other tables and declared "All these couples out wasting their money! and their houses are not yet paid for "

Not paid for! Not just that they were not saving for deposits on their houses, but they hadn't yet finished paying for them! They still owed money!! How dreadful!!

The neighbours didn't confess to her about their own mortgage millstone.

Stansgran Mon 17-Oct-16 12:31:29

They don't make them like that aunt anymore do they? She'd been told she would never see the nieces and nephews again and that she was to be NC. grin

DaphneBroon Mon 17-Oct-16 12:36:03

I do wonder (frequently) but never aloud hmm

Waterdown Mon 17-Oct-16 12:39:09

Elegran grin yes, I suspect I would have kept quiet on that occasion too!

Jamila, yes of course. My experience of talking about this just happens to have been with someone who does live in London. The problem is, she needs to be there for her job - the opportunities in her field just aren't the same out of the city - so there's no chance of her really being able to buy somewhere else (though she did also say that to do that she'd have to leave her friends and the life she'd built up around her to do that). It ended up making me quite sad for her

Christinefrance Mon 17-Oct-16 12:44:01

There are limits though, I know a younger person who is chronically short of money despite having a good job and borrows from family then says he is thinking of getting a £300 tattoo. Words failed me.

gillybob Mon 17-Oct-16 13:27:53

Sadly a curry meal once a month is hardly going to pay the mortgage is it? Nor will it go very far towards a hefty deposit. Whereas that little meal out can make all the difference to a happy relationship with something small to look forward to once in a while.

As for the aunt in Elegrans story. I had one like that. Complete snob living in another financial world to the rest of the family where it was fine for her to have holidays, trips, new carpets etc. but she would frown if my mum even suggested she would like (or needed) something new no matter how small. probably because we lived in a council house at the time and people in council houses don't deserve anything new.

grannypiper Mon 17-Oct-16 14:37:07

My nephew and his wife had 3 hen/stag do's each 1 abroad 1 weekend away and then a day at the races, a huge wedding paid for by parents,new cars, ate out every night, weekends away with and without each other, everything brand new for their new house, she worked 12 hours a week he earned less than £14,000 a year oh and they had a 2 year old child born 2 years before the wedding ( pram, cot, clothes etc bought by grandparents) lived lives for superstars and didnt see why half a dozen holidays a year was excessive. Divorced after 3 years

Jalima Mon 17-Oct-16 14:54:28

A meal once in a while is fine; however, places like Sydney, Brisbane are full of young people eating out for brunch and dinner at the latest 'paleo' or 'clean eating' or whatever restaurant every day - it seems the norm moaning that they can't afford anything discussing where they're going next weekend. As I said, the Gen X seem a bit more sensible.
Sometimes it seems as if the end of the world is nigh and they're jolly well going to spend, spend, spend and enjoy themselves to the hilt.

granjura Mon 17-Oct-16 15:01:37

We certainly had to make massive sacrifices to get on the 'ladder' - second-hand or home made furniture, no meals out, simple clothes, cheap second hand things for the kids, c*appy car, nothing matched, no holidays abroad, be it mini or maxi...

a night out with friends was a couple of beers at the pub, and once in a blue moon a cheap curry.

Jalima Mon 17-Oct-16 15:33:33

or chicken in a basket once in a blue moon - exciting days!!

We did go to a very nice Chinese restaurant once - memorable because it was the only time in the 3 years whilst we were saving hard.

Desdemona Tue 18-Oct-16 09:32:42

Ah yes, scampi or chicken in a basket.....seemed so decadent back then!

My daughter still lives at home, and is trying to save for a place of her own. She is doing pretty well, but I get glared at when I suggest she takes a flask of coffee to work instead of indulging in a £3 Costa coffee every lunchtime.

MinniesMum Tue 18-Oct-16 09:44:27

To be fair to the elderly aunt in 1963, she was probably old enough to remember the days with no social security only parish relief for the desperate and a community sense of self-respect which is all too lacking these days. If you didn't save and scrimp you could find yourself in desperate straits particularly as there was no NHS then either. I am glad it is now even though when I try to tell my son how it was for my parents and grandparents, he thinks I am making it up. Was it 6d for the doctor or a 1/-?
We still have the old wardrobe donated by a relative and still use it. I saw an identical one on Antiques Roadshow recently. It was carved walnut with a cedar lining and sold for about £1500! I now religiously polish mine and having resented the freebie for the last 52 years, now I think it is beautiful.

DaphneBroon Tue 18-Oct-16 09:51:38

Gosh yes, packed lunches. I could not possibly have bought a latte every day, it would have been a week's bus fares - not today though, thank god for my bus pass! . But packed lunches gets me thinking about picnics- remember those? Sliced bread, cheese and pickle or ham or (tinned) salmon and cucumber for posh, Apple or banana, maybe a Jacobs Club biscuit and a packet of supermarket crisps. Now it would be Pret or M&S sandwiches at least, along with Waitrose quiche or falafels for about £4 each!
Interesting article in the DT about how we perceive extravagance, for instance not buying new towels to replace old worn out ones but cheerfully shelling out for a couple of expensive lattes which cost the same.

Im68Now Tue 18-Oct-16 09:52:01

That's the trouble, they haven't got any world wars to fight.

Lilyflower Tue 18-Oct-16 10:00:31

My then b/f and I lived in rented accommodation on the south coast nearly forty years ago and couldn't afford to buy even a small property there. We moved to East Anglia which was very cheap and loaded ourselves with a mortgage which ate about half of our earnings and were paying a 14% interest rate.

We had no spare cash for indulgences but entertained people at home with dinners and parties which were cheap and enjoyable. Our pleasures were mostly free: walking, reading, visiting historical and other places of interest. We had a blast.

Our first home appreciated very slowly but gave us a small amount of equity (£7000) which we invested in buying a much smaller house when we had to move back down south for jobs. We then progressed to a complete doer-upper which took thirty slow years of improvement to bring up to scratch as and when we could afford it. The whole of the time my then DH and I worked full time, even through having two children. At times it felt like slave labour and got very grim.

We now have a nice house and it peeves me to hear envious people who wouldn't make any sacrifices themselves call us 'lucky' as if it had all dropped into our laps from the gods.

The same things that applied then apply now. Yes, houses are expensive but you can still do what we did.

My DD and her b/f both work in London and wanted to live near good transport links in Zone Two. After a year of searching and many flat viewings they finally acknowledged that they couldn't compete with oligarchs and bankers and widened their search to the suburbs in a near repeat of what happened to us years ago.

The upshot is that they have bought a delightful two bedroomed house (not a flat) and have added twenty minutes to their commute. Yes, we helped a bit with their deposit (as my DH's parents did with us) but they had also saved and lived more prudently than their splurging peers because both sets of parents had urged them to save and live within their means and they had learned by example.

I think that many young folks are careless and improvident. Two young teachers joined my school staff with credit card debts of over £25,000 and both moved frequently, socialised voraciously and went on constant mini breaks to cheer themselves up, not to mention always buying food out. They looked at we property owning elders with envy not noticing that we always bought home made packed lunches and wore old, looked after clothes.

Having observed the world for many years I think that, beyond absolute poverty which cannot be helped, being poor is a condition of the mind.

gulligranny Tue 18-Oct-16 10:17:52

I too get really annoyed at the younger generation's perception of our generation as being "lucky", when in fact we worked b****y hard for what we have. When I was first married in 1970 we had only a sofa, a bed and a cooker in our house (mortgaged to the eyeballs). No car and no money for meals out. Didn't have a fridge for 18 months or a bottom-of-the-range twin-tub washing machine for nearly 3 years - I used to do the washing in the bath (not while I was in it too, I hasten to say).

Caught a glimpse of S/DIL's annual John Lewis statement recently, they spent over £30,000 in one year there. And that's only their JL spend. That's more than our yearly income!

Teetime Tue 18-Oct-16 10:47:08

My eldest GS (30) rents quite a nice house as what seems to me to be the equivalent of a mortgage payment he takes an annual holiday to Florida spending between £5-£6k, buys designer clothes , is covered in expensive tattoos as is his wife, they run two nice cars, go out for meals constantly. have a pedigree dog, both have lots of jewellery, flat screen TV,SKY TV, I pads, the latest I Phones at £40K a month and they are trying for a baby- all their friends seem to be the same I just don't understand it!confused

Lynnabelle Tue 18-Oct-16 10:48:33

It is frustrating being told how lucky we are. We too bought a house in the seventies with a high mortgage rate . Had a second hand cooker and donated bed. Bought a suite and had to pay £3 per week for it. The man used to come to the house for it and when we were very hard up we hid behind the couch. We both worked hard to better ourselves. OH worked away from home all our married life as there was no work locally. We manage now on my NHS "golden" pension that I payed into for 44 years, and his state pension. Yes, we are very lucky.

Neversaydie Tue 18-Oct-16 10:57:13

Both our DDs have recently bought property, one in London one in Manchester .There is no way the one in London (aged 30 and not well paid )could have bought without our help (neither has a partner).She would have been destined to contine paying rent in excess of £900 a month for a one bed flat in Zone 2.No chance of saving for a deposit .No could she afford holidays .Get line of work and social life are in London .
I think sometimes young people give up trying to seriously save for a property as it's just too depressing
I bouht a house on my own in 1980 98%mortgage admittedly at 18%interest ..I sold it 2years later having made a quarter of its value in profit It was tough but so don't think either of my DCs could do that now

gillybob Tue 18-Oct-16 11:01:37

Yes well good for them . I am beginning to think that maybe you only live once and you should make the best of it. I have worked hard all my life . I have looked after people all my life . I have put everyone first all my bloomin life and here I am at 54 no better off for it .

gettingonabit Tue 18-Oct-16 11:34:16

I'm going to sound like an old fart at the grand old age of 57...but, as a landlord (mortgage paid off, by the way, so not buy to let), I truly think that young people who rent expect A LOT for their money. When I bought the house 39 years ago I lived without decent bathroom or kitchen facilities for two years. Didn't have central heating either, and did most of the preparatory labouring work myself, after work.

The young people who currently rent the house have had a new fridge/freezer, oven and they've pulled the (admittedly somewhat crap) kitchen about to put a bloody dishwasher in. They've insisted that I cut two trees down in the garden because they can't see the sun setting at night. shock.

Would they be spending their own money on these things, I wonder?

Doubt it.

Luckygirl Tue 18-Oct-16 11:51:32

I think that young people often do have a slightly different mindset, partly because the idea of being in debt is not the No-No that it once was.

Having said that, all 3 of my children seem to be able to live within their means, albeit very different means. I am not aware that any have large card debts, although I know that one runs a debt up to Christmas and pays it of when she gets her bonus in the New Year.

They do eat out a great deal more than we ever did - or indeed do!

I do not blame them for the carpe diem attitude. And I think it is dangerous to generalise - they are all different. But I do think it is good that they can enjoy going out for a meal - a treat that we never had.

My father was definitely of then opinion that eating our was ridiculous when you could get your wife to cook a meal for a fraction of the cost! My much-vaunted treat of a meal out if I passed the 11+ turned out to be lunch in the works canteen - yipee!

Madmartha Tue 18-Oct-16 12:01:02

Good point Gillybob.
Just a different generation with different priorities.
Me and my friends in the 60s were not much different, we disco'd, bought records and new clothes every week much to our parents' disgust but we all did OK for ourselves in the end smile