Who can afford to buy their own home in the capital these days? With borrowing options limited during these cash-strapped years of recession, it certainly looks like private London housing is just for the rich – at least, for now.
Because while it’s true that we’ve been experiencing some grossly inflated market prices for housing in the last few years across much of the UK, it’s also a fact that we’re all finding it harder to make our salaries stretch. Pay rises have been either frozen or capped in most sectors of work, yet household bills and council taxes continue to rise.
The long shadow of recession limits our choices and for many it’s going to be a question of simply waiting it out. We’re told better times are ahead; for every peak, there’s a trough, and we’re simply locked in the doldrums of a double-dip economy. House prices will come down, even in London. As the financial crisis resolves, borrowing will become easier.
But let’s be realistic – for a great many people living in London, house prices will never be affordable, even in the most prosperous of times. Even if you have a higher-than-average salary, you will struggle to buy the smallest mid-terraced home if you’re drawing less than £40,000 a year in wages.
Naturally, you will also have to consider the deposit required when taking out a mortgage – a significant amount of money that will be needed up-front. For many people, they will need a combined income of two or more wage-earners to commit to a mortgage, or perhaps an additional loan from a family member to secure that deposit. These are significant commitments needing a great deal of consideration beforehand.
Spending time to carefully formulate a plan means that every avenue can be investigated when it comes to buying a home. Timing is everything and for those prepared to hold out, finances will get easier. For some though, it might not be possible to wait; other pressures may force the need to find somewhere to buy.
For lots of families determined to buy their own property in London, the only way forward will be to pool those family resources. And for many, it will be a happy arrangement even in these tough times, enabling them to secure their own home, right in the heart of one of the world’s greatest cities.
If you’re looking for property in London, try making use of a free online directory service such as Directory Now to locate estate agents in your area – it’s the fastest and easiest way to find what you are looking for.