It may sound melodramatic but the UK’s private rental sector is truly in crisis…
Not for the speculators, of course, but for the unfortunate underclass known as generation rent.
The UK’s housing & rental market is providing an increasingly disingenuous and lost generation with two insurmountable challenges. A lack of social mobility and a discriminatory wealth distribution system which, potentially, has catastrophic and far-reaching consequences for everyone’s future – and that even includes the speculators themselves.
Why speculators, why not landlord’s? Speculation is solely about profit and that’s a landlord’s sole motivation. However, where there’s a profit there’s always a deficit.
Be under no illusion, we’re creating a significant divide between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ through current housing policy and this social mobility chasm is exponentially widening each day due to the unsustainable mechanism known as house price inflation.
Now, in politics inflation is considered a very very bad thing and must be kept under control at all costs – unless, it would seem, that inflation figure involves housing.
The deficit created from all of this property speculation can be found within the lives of generation rent. Unable to even get close to affording a home, they are destined to go through life endlessly passing their hard earned cash up through this wealth inequality chain both to letting agents with inexplicable fees and property speculators with spiralling rent demands which fuels their thirst for capital. All this renders generation rent both helpless to save for a deposit on a home – let alone a pension.
As the rents and the fees continue to rise taking more of the expendable income out of the pockets of those who’re trying to simply put the basic building blocks of their lives together, what are the true consequences for the overall economy?
Less spending and less spending is no good for anyone or UK plc.
Don’t expect the speculators to step in and fill this spending gap. The Speculators demographic is babyboomer and that particular generations spending is on an perpetual fall until death. After all babyboomers don’t have to buy nappies for babies any longer, they simply do not spend as much cash as the younger generations do when building futures and starting families.
Generation rent on the other hand has little or no expendable income to spend.
Is the demise of some of the UK high street purely down to the online sector? Could it be that low wage growth, student loan repayments and spiralling rents are affecting the ability of a large swathe of the population to simply afford to go out shopping?
So, as this house price airliner continues on it’s ascent to a seemingly undefinable cruising altitude, what on earth does the future hold for those who weren’t even offered a chance to purchase a simple economy ticket?
The cost is this…
The consequence which we’ll all have to face, when gazing far enough into the future, is that there’ll be a significant number of UK citizens with little or no pension provision and no home of their own.
They’ll be living in rental properties and, if unable to afford the rent, will be staring homelessness clearly in the face. Once the number of venerable pensioners on the streets becomes untenable, the state will be forced to step in. The speculators (along with every other taxpayer) will face increased taxes tomorrow to cover the poor planning of today.
This perfect storm of economic inequality that’s fuelled by an unregulated and exploited market sector in which the demand far outstrips the supply, there is an urgent need for a comprehensive injection of common sense. A captive market where there is no authority or competition, the very things that would protect or add value to the consumer, is creating a breeding ground for bad practice.
Millions of renters simply deserve better.
Not one single political party is taking this issue and it’s consequences seriously. Piecemeal change that affects a few hundred thousand renters is not the solution, the narrative is completely wrong.
Generation rent doesn’t want “help” to buy, to rent or to build. What they want is a regulated market where they have some security of tenure, affordable rent and the chance to save for their future.
After all, that is what renting is supposed to be all about, a stepping stone from leaving home to buying your first home – not a pre-existing paradigm where the asset speculators snap up the nations housing stock and divide it into bedsits for maximum capital return. Homes should never be treated as a cash cow for a fortunate or speculative few, they are roofs for UK citizens heads.
Generation rent must go out and vote in the 2015 election, they need to raise these issues with any party that calls upon their rented doorstep.
Make a noise, make a social media fuss but do something or the babyboomers will simply vote for the status quo and you all deserve the chance to be heard and served by your government.