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Baby boomers and housing

(65 Posts)
LaraGransnet (GNHQ) Fri 17-Nov-17 10:22:53

This has been in the news this week -
we'd love to have your thoughts?

MaizieD Fri 17-Nov-17 11:06:16

This has to be a very stupid non-story. How come an Australian millionaire's ridiculous comments are being interpreted as the opinion of all us baby boomers? What on earth does he know? As he's a 'millionaire' he's living on a different planet from most of us anyway..

Though I have to confess that I have seen Gnetters pooh poohing the idea that it's difficult for millenials to get on the housing ladder I think on the whole that many of us are deeply sympathetic to them, and, we know very well that there aren't enough houses being built.

goldengirl Fri 17-Nov-17 11:36:12

I think there are plenty of houses being built - at least in our area - but it's the COST of purchase that's the problem AND the fact there is no additional infrastructure eg school, medical centre, roadways - one new estate opens onto an already clogged route making it even worse. I was looking through a book the other day and was reminded of the Prefabs that were built after the last war and many of which are still standing. I had a friend who lived in one and it was lovely and it was a lively community too. Could this be a possible solution once more?

Oldwoman70 Fri 17-Nov-17 11:39:40

I think it is fashionable these days to blame "baby boomers" for everything. We all know it is hard for anyone to get on the property ladder, most of us are in favour of more house building - but why does it always have to be on green field sites.

There are many "brown field" sites which would be suitable but it is cheaper to build on green fields rather than clean up an existing site. I'm not saying there are not areas where it would be necessary to build on green field sites but lets use up existing sites first.

Ilovecheese Fri 17-Nov-17 12:10:41

I agree with using the brown field sites, but who will? Building companies don't want to because it is more expensive. When you say, Oldwoman70 "lets use up existing sites first" then if you mean "us" that is "us" the taxpayers, we would have to be willing to pay more in tax so that Local Authorities or the Govt could do the building and are we willing to cough up?

Newquay Fri 17-Nov-17 12:28:39

I agree about using brown field sites first. I'm sure our DC or DGC will ask what on earth we were thinking of destroying farm land when food will be in short supply. Like we now all know how crazy allowing Beeching to destroy all those rail links. Then we're now-slightly off piste here-paying billions for this crazy HS2! Must be mad! And agree with you Golden, same here in Staffs, loads of new builds on former farm land, more traffic, no extra schools, Doc's and hosp under strain already. We cannot go on letting our population increase either-all our lives it was about 40-45 million now it's nearly 70 million. Little wonder we're short of housing!

Ilovecheese Fri 17-Nov-17 12:40:58

Newquay Regarding population, if we stop letting the population increase that will increase the imbalance between the numbers of young people and older people. There will be a lot more old than young. A shortage of younger people to do jobs like harvesting fruit and veg, will again lead to us having to pay more for our food. Again, are we willing to cough up?
Totally agree with you about HS2, and about Beeching

nigglynellie Fri 17-Nov-17 12:46:07

I certainly sympathise with young people, trying to get on the housing ladder, and as has been said, it is the price of housing that is an enormous part of the problem,but to BLAME a previous generation for this problem is, I think very unfair, and implies that we deliberately set out to do down following generations while sitting pretty in our almost fraudulently acquired homes! We did what we did all those years ago with the best of intentions and the extortionate rise in house prices is something we couldn't possibly have anticipated and certainly NOT our fault, but very firmly the fault of government of whichever colour.

Ilovecheese Fri 17-Nov-17 12:50:00

Not sure it was the fault of any Government but more the fault of the building societies who started lending out more than 3 times one salary. Now it is the norm to take two salaries into account so impossible to buy a house on one salary.

humptydumpty Fri 17-Nov-17 12:56:36

Completely agree Ilovecheese (me too!) about the multiple of income that people are lent, but surely the government could have stopped this? If people hadn't been able to borrow as much, they wouldn't have been able to pay as much, which would have kept a lid on prices except for wealthy cash buyers.

IMO the advent of buy-to-let mortgages is also responsible as Joe Public was allowed to have a mortgage on more than one property, thus simultaneously removing stock from the market and pushing prices up.

Fennel Fri 17-Nov-17 13:36:03

I accept that there is currently a shortage of suitable housing accom. to buy for young people.
But I think they're under-estimating the difficulty of the situation when we were their age. There was also a shortage of housing, and it cost a fortune to get a mortgage:
As well as that you had to have already had a savings account with the BS. Many of us never owned our own house, (rented or lived with parents), or had to wait until we were 30+.'
Where we did have an advantage though was in the much freer Labour market/ choice of jobs.

Jalima1108 Fri 17-Nov-17 14:34:10

Oh dear, blame the baby boomers again instead of looking at the real causes of the problem.

Ilovecheese Fri 17-Nov-17 15:03:20

humptydumpty yes, you are right, the Govt could and should have stopped it. But de-regulation was all the rage, which eventually resulted in the banking crash.

humptydumpty Fri 17-Nov-17 15:26:36

Also let's not forget that the government has done very well out of house rises via stamp duty.

suzied Fri 17-Nov-17 16:17:58

We have discussed this before, its either "blame the baby boomers", to set one generation against another, or "blame the immigrants", to set one group against another, or "blame the government" ( whichever one you choose,), or " blame the banks" etc. Surely it s combination of factors - the right to buy policy, councils not being allowed to build more affordable housing, luxury flats sold to foreign investors who never live there etc. I'm not sure how people who have paid off their mortgages are to blame, apart from being alive, many of us are using our life savings or equity in our homes to enable our children to get on the housing ladder.

varian Fri 17-Nov-17 17:23:07

Newquay says "We cannot go on letting our population increase either-all our lives it was about 40-45 million now it's nearly 70 million. Little wonder we're short of housing!"

I assume Newquay is a hundred years old as the last time the UK population was approx 40 million was just before the end of WWI.

Newquay Fri 17-Nov-17 17:25:34

Hello ilovecheese (me too!). If we stopped this excessive immigration I think our own population still produces enough young to work. Sadly, of course, a lot (not all!) of young find it more attractive to stay home on benefits rather than work eg fruit picking, agri work etc. The good book says "let him (her) who WON'T work not eat"!

varian Fri 17-Nov-17 17:33:03

When we bought our first house the amount we could borrow was limited to 2.5 times my husband's salary. Although I was working full-time and we had no children, my income was disregarded as the assumption was that I would soon be pregnant and give up work for good.

When we bought our current house the mortgage rate was 17% (that's right SEVENTEEN PERCENT).

Having told you all that, I need to say that I would like it to be easier for our grandchildren to get a home of their own without having to wait for us to keel over and leave them money. Their generation is more divided than ever because of the chances of inheriting quite a lot or nothing at all.

MaizieD Fri 17-Nov-17 18:37:57

Here's a reason why

a) there aren't enough hoses being built
b) the ones that are built are very expensive

Land Banks

The same old characters are relentlessly held up as the arch villains of the housing crisis; from greedy developers to bureaucratic planners, to the armies of Nimbys. But it’s fair to say that, beyond these usual suspects, one of the fundamental causes for the current lack of affordable housing, and simultaneous glut of luxury developments, is the iniquity of the land trading industry.

Of course it makes sense if you’re an absentee landowner; why would you sell your field as just a field, when you could sell it as a field with the lucrative permission to build 100 homes on it? In turn, why would the successful buyer actually want to build those 100 homes, when it’s more profitable to sit on the land for a while, then sell it on again?

By the time a willing builder finally gets their hands on the land, several transactions later, they’ve had to pay so much for it that the only viable option is an enclave of executive homes or luxury flats. The same vicious cycle makes it impossible for smaller housebuilders or community groups to ever dream of getting access to land.

The Telegraph version of much the same story for those who are Guardianphobic

MaizieD Fri 17-Nov-17 18:38:23

houses !!!

Ilovecheese Fri 17-Nov-17 18:46:38

Newquay No, a lot of the young do not find it more attractive to sit at home on benefits. That is just another example of one generation being set against the other.
As regards reducing the population, the most sensible way to do that would be to introduce compulsory euthanasia for those of us that are past our usefulness to the economy, and I don't think any of us would like to start that game.

durhamjen Fri 17-Nov-17 18:49:52

Sorry, but I've just had a smashed avocado on toast. As a baby boomer, am I allowed?

Ilovecheese Fri 17-Nov-17 19:01:24

No, durhamjen you shouldn't even know what an avocado is!

Iam64 Fri 17-Nov-17 19:05:05

Extremely irritated by this attempt to set one generation against another. It's unhelpful, unpleasant and not based in any reality I live in.
I know no one who hasn't helped their own children to the very best of their financial and emotional ability. The vast majority of young people I know count their blessings, love their families and work hard. That was the same in my grandparents generation. What's new? It's just nonsense to suggest we baby boomers somehow set out to exploit those who went before us and those who are following us. The vast majority of people do their best. Give us a break Savid J

GillT57 Fri 17-Nov-17 19:05:13

Newquayyour ill informed remarks about young people preferring to sit at home on benefits instead of picking cabbages is exactly why these bloody newspapers publish these articles; to divide society and always have someone to blame. I am saddened that someone can even think this way. It Has been suggested that there is not a shortage of housing as such,more a case of a shortage of jobs. In some areas, such as former mining areas, housing is very affordable by South East standards, chiefly because there is no work. Maybe the government should be looking at encouraging business investment country wide, taking the pressure off the expensive and overcrowded areas where the low unemployment leads to appalling house prices. I would also tax, severely,the practice of buying property for investment without even living in it.