Thursday, 3 April 2014


Rising London property prices bringing misery to millions


ONE of the most accepted signs of madness is hearing voices inside your head. These voices generally tell the affected person to do irrational things that could be easily described as mad.

Well, all over the country - but especially in London and the South East of England - there are people who are very obviously mad. There are voices in their heads that are telling them that now would be a good time to buy a house. As crazy as it sounds, they are doing precisely that. It's madness of the type that affected The Dutch in the 17th century when tulip mania gripped the country and tulips were changing hands for thousands of pounds.

The UK equivalent of this form of madness can be seen every day on the streets of London where very ordinary houses are changing hands for more money than the average person will earn in a lifetime. What's more, this gross stupidity is belong encouraged by the government with the BBC, as usual, acting as chief cheerleader.

The government wanted to create a housing bubble in a desperate attempt to mask the dire state of Britain's economy, but they saw that there was a major problem: lenders unwilling to grant mortgages much above 80% and potential buyers being unable to save the massive amount of cash required for a deposit. Enter stage far right the Help to Buy Scheme.

Prices through the roof. A young mother looks in despair through an estate agent's window at the astronomical cost of homes in London.
Under this scheme, potential buyers can borrow up to £600,000 and only pay 5% deposit. So, it doesn't take a genius to work out that £30,000 deposit and a loan of £570,000 and hey presto you've bought yourself a house in London.

But, there is always a snag. The snag in this particular "if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is" scheme is twofold. To start with, while £600,000 will buy you a small mansion in the North of England, such an amount won't get you very much in the capital. In fact, in most parts of central London, your £600,000 will buy you a shit hole.

Latest figures released by Nationwide show that the average price for a property in the capital is now £362,699. Considering this figure takes into account tiny flats in areas that you wouldn't make your worst enemy live, and you can work out that your £600,000 isn't exactly going to have you living in decadent splendour.

An indication of what you might get for such a colossal sum of money can be gauged from an excellent article in this week's Guardian by Suzanne Moore.

Suzanne went to look round a two-bedroom ex-council flat in Kings Cross that she lived in 20 years ago. The council paid her £15,000 to leave the dingy flat in a poor area and she was glad to take the money and get out. That same pokey flat has just sold for £500,000. I don't know about you but I don't even like venturing to the King's Cross area to get a train. I certainly wouldn't want to make my home there.

But let's press on and assume that our imaginary 21st century equivalent of the Dutch  tulip hunters have been totally brainwashed by the government bullshit and have decided to leap head first into the property market with their £30,000 deposit in hand. At current interest rates the monthly mortgage payments would be about £2,700. But look what happens if mortgage rates went up to a reasonable 6%. Your monthly outgoings would rocket by over £1,000 to £3,700 a month.

Without sounding too much like that prat off the television "so who would live in a house like this? Well, I have no idea. But I know who won't be living in it. It won't be a nurse or a doctor and it's probably even beyond the scope of a hospital surgeon unless he has a wife who also works. It certainly won't be a firefighter or a teacher or a social worker or a soldier who risked his life for his country.

But there are millions of doctors, nurses, firefighters, teachers and ex-soldiers who work in London or the outskirts. So where do they live?

Well, these essential people who keep the capital functioning have been forced out of London long ago and as prices rise they are being forced further afield. That itself poses a number of issues. Like a pebble thrown into a pond, soaring house prices in London (an 18% increase in the first three months of 2014) radiate out across the South of England.

So, you live miles outside London but to afford to live there you need to earn London wages. To do that you need to commute into the city. That means paying thousands of pounds in rail fares and adding two, three, four or even five hours to your working day in travel time. Your eight hour day is now a ten or twelve hour day. For much of the year you leave home in the dark and return in darkness. You hardly see your family and have no time or inclination to socialise or enjoy life.

It may sound like the script from a science fiction horror tale but it's how more and more people are living. Truth is they're not living, they're existing. They are working to exist and existing just to work.

So, why not open your eyes and see this con for exactly what it is? Perhaps the French legal definition for mortgage might help? The literal translation is death pledge. That is exactly what millions of people are currently buying into: a life of slavery and endless toil in order to just survive. A pledge to do so until death do us part.

Work to pay the mortgage. Work to pay the train fares. Work to pay off the student loan. Work to pay the child-minder. Work to pay the car loan. Work, work, work and more work. Then you die.

Never has there been a man who has been lying on his death bed and said: "I wish I'd spent more time at work". Work has always been grossly overrated but now it's nothing more than slavery. Trust me, it's only going to get worse unless we do something about it.

The choice is ours. Always we have choices.


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  1. Your Right Harry. I'm gunna go to work in to morning and tell the gaffer to shove his job right up his arse. then am going to live off the state like the rest of the sane in society. let the stupid tax paying working class of the country pay for my miserable existents. No more work work work for me.. Cheers Harry. you've got all the