Why is it so hard to buy a flat in a cool area of this incredibly expensive city?
by ELEANOR SHAW
YES, I’m a millennial. But I don’t spend all my money on avocado toast, I don’t blow it on cold brew coffee, and I’m still using my old iPhone 6S.
Yet, however, I find myself unable to get a foot on the property ladder in the most populous, and expensive, city in the UK.
All I want are the same things my parents wanted – a good job, a loving partner and a two-bedroom live/work space with balcony in a nice area of the world’s third-richest city.
It’s easy for the Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. To them, with low property prices in areas considered ‘undesirable’ at the time and interest rates between five and 15 per cent, getting a mortgage was easy.
But for us, those opportunities have gone. To live anywhere in London, even somewhere unsexy, is prohibitively expensive. All the nice houses are already owned by older people with better jobs, a situation surely unique in the history of the world.
And it’s not just London. In all the other cool cities around the UK – Edinburgh, Bristol, Manchester – stylish city-centre properties suitable for fashionable twentysomethings are priced far, far beyond our reach.
Meanwhile I see friends without my ambition or talent in locations like Stoke-on-Trent, Swansea and Durham already a few years into their mortgage, even though they only visit London to watch West End musicals and have never heard of pop-up outdoor cinema.
The government must act now to build affordable properties for millennials, and support us during our tough first decade in the capital as we work our way up in our careers until we have cleared our debts and are pulling in seven figures.
Then, and only then, can we sell our London homes to developers and move to massive houses in the country.