One of the things that worries me since I've become a hardworking, bill paying adult is the fact that unless I win the lottery or unknowingly appear on The Secret Millionaire, I will never be able to afford my own home.
I'm lucky that I have managed to rent a house in a nicer area of my town, at a very good price. Blue carpets and brown doors aren't that hard to live with, but I'm aware of the fact that I may as well be taking a large proportion of my wages every month, tearing it up and throwing it down the nearest drain. To me, renting has always been “dead money”.
Unfortunately, in these tough financial times there are lots of people just like me, who are finding it equally as hard to scrape money together. As house prices are increasing and so is the amount required for a deposit, banks are asking for a minimum of 10%, which for a first time buyer like me is a scarily impossible amount.
Throughout the years there have always been young couples and families struggling to get their foot onto the property ladder. A house is, after all, the most expensive thing that most of us will buy in our lifetime, but the cost of living is escalating - and wages are not.
In the '80s, when my Mum was younger than I am now, she bought her first house; a two bedroom terrace near the town centre with an asking price of £22,000. She put down a £1250 deposit, which was roughly 5% of the house price and 15% of her annual salary at the time- still something she had to save hard for, but not unachievable.
Shockingly, buying a house on the very same street today with an asking price of £150,000 would set you back 60% of your yearly salary- if you are lucky enough to earn the average UK salary of £25,000 in the first place. I know plenty of people, myself included, who do not earn this much – the average salary for a nursery nurse, for example is £13,000 – a teaching assistant even less.
It is not just hard for most of us in this day and age to afford a house, but almost impossible when the amount we need to save is close to, if not more than what we earn in an entire year.
There are more houses being built and less people able to afford them, while the number of derelict and unloved houses grows. We need more housing schemes for first time buyers, lower deposit percentages and affordable interest rates- we need to bridge the rising gap between the increasing cost of living and our decreasing disposable- saveable- income.
And so we find ourselves as a generation of renters with blue carpets and brown doors, paying other people's mortgages in the never ending cycle of 'dead money', struggling to get on that ladder, and struggling to save our economy.
Image via Images_of_Money's Flickr