“…For the times they are a changin'”

In 1982 When I were a lad, I left City College in Plymouth with a couple of A levels in my bag. I couldn’t decide whether or not to be an actor (being an ex-National Youth Theatre of Great Britain member you know), I had failed the Admiralty Interview for officer entry into the Royal Marines – the ‘Culture Paper’ was beyond my education too. My dear brother helped me secure a temporary job, labouring for PDT Bayly Bartlett; a timber importer in Plymouth.

Well! The temp job turned into a start of a career path I never envisaged and I ended up last week at a Fintech seminar being singled out by the speaker for wearing my favourite pinstripe suit and tie! How could I commit such a sin? It compelled the audience, a mix of folk from lawyers to crypto heads, to laugh at my expense as I was being compared with ‘the man from the FCA!’ OMG! My posh ski friends used to compare my ski jacket with that worn by the Man from C&A arrggghh!!! (Unhurt though, as anyone who knows me, knows the thickness of my skin). It was fun. But hey! “For the times they are a changin”!

Take a Look at First Time Home Buyers (FTB) 1983 v 2022

At the age of 20 (c 1983 ouch!) I bought my first house: 59 Furzehill Road, Mutley, Plymouth for something like £16,750. (It was about 3 times my pay). Got sold one of those horrible endowment mortgages and interest rates went through its 1910 roof; 13-15% type of level, when compared with those now? BUT I bought my house as I was fed up with paying rent which felt like dead money and the place I rented was nice but it wasn’t mine and I couldn’t feel comfortable about doing anything to make it so. Later in life I sadly left my family home through separation and was nudged back into rental for years. Dead money again. No fun at all in your mid 50s. And with no FTB status anymore as my ex and wee bairns were in our jointly owned house.

So inspired by the pain of “why do I pay more rent than I would pay for a mortgage” question, I established with my brilliant colleagues, (each and all far more brilliant than I) HLPS. Our company of smart people, along with the fantastic advice from Counsel (thank you Lucy Walker at Guildhall Chambers), are helping us provide an answer, indeed a solution to this enormous problem. A problem that has effected the 3.57 Million so called [by Graham Edward’s report for the CPS.org.uk] Resentful Renters; those who could have bought in days gone by but now cannot for a few very key reasons that include stress tests, affordability yawn yawn and more yawning I sense….but please read on!

2022: How much mortgage deposit? £62,500? Are you having a laugh Mr Mortgage Advisor??

The latest Halifax insight for 2022 shows the following:

  1. First time buyers dropped in 2022 by 11%
  2. The average deposit was £62,470 Up 8%
  3. Average house prices are now 7.6 X average incomes
  4. Two thirds of mortgage completions were in joint names
  5. Average FTB buying age now up two years to 32 years of age

And we all know what happened to house prices!

I wonder if Graham Edwards figure of 3.57 million has increased since his report in 2017? I suspect so. There are nearly 20% less home owners now in the 25 – 40 age bracket. That’s a huge amount of people paying dead money in pure rent.

So many of our young (though less young now) rely on the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’. They are the lucky ones who get help with a deposit. But so many people are heading to old age with very little asset and therefore wealth to show for a life of work. Depressing isn’t it? Not for all but for many.

So at HLPS we are working hard on addressing this BIG issue within the UK housing crisis (amongst all the other crises). It has taken a long time, but each day and each week we get closer to our goal. Our ‘Freedom to Live’ Rent to Ownership platform will be the simplest on the market, it will only offer healthy new or refurbished, energy efficient homes. It will be the simplest way for residents to take their first steps onto the housing ladder by moving into homes that will feel like their own. A home they can buy at any time, not 5 years or 10 years or through often excruciating and complicated navigation of shared ownership programs and agreements or complicated equity support solutions offered via HM Government policy or private sector. This will be as easy as shopping at Tesco for the majority. As long as you can successfully rent you can join our gang.

We are partnering with large scale investors to acquire homes at scale which will also boost housebuilding by introducing a brand new and effective pathway into home ownership. Our plan is to provide a minimum of 15,000 homes in the next 5 years with the first coming on stream this year. We will keep you posted. Er pardon the pun.

For yes indeed..”… the times they are a changing'” And change they must.

Claire, where did I put my harmonica again?

By Richard George CEO

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *