From our Swindon correspondent:
, kids, just ain’t what you’re looking for:-
Boris Johnson has said he wants to create a ‘Generation Buy’ where young people are helped to purchase homes with mortgages requiring low deposits.
In an interview with The Telegraph, the Prime Minister said he believed a ‘huge’ number of people felt excluded from home ownership in the UK.
But he said his Government would ‘fix’ the issue by helping people get onto the property market with low-deposit mortgages.
I was thinking back to the 1970s and how my grandparents lived in Malmesbury, in Wiltshire. They’d moved out of London to somewhere cheaper on retirement. It’s hard to understand this today because Malmesbury is rather expensive now. And it was the same in general with villages. Villages were full of little old ladies. Because back in the 1970s, villages were impractical for people. You couldn’t easily get to work from a village. Then along came cars and villages and market towns that weren’t too far from towns became more desirable. The most extreme example is the charming Cotswold town of Burford, which until the 1950s was poor, because the trains had passed it by. Which meant it didn’t get Victorian development, then became accessible by car from Oxford and so was now a charming place you could live in.
The car increased the commute radius. It stopped being about how far you could get on a local bus or bike. If you could drive to a town in 30 minutes, it was now a commute.
The relevance of all of this is because we’ve been slowly doing the same thing with internet technology but it’s really taking off with Covid. You probably don’t need to live in Hammersmith to work in central London, if you sit in an office looking at a computer all day,.you can live pretty much anywhere.
So, kids, why don’t you just get out of the city? Move to somewhere cheap that is accessible for the odd trip. Probably not Tannochbrae, but somewhere that’s as far as you don’t mind for 1 long day a week, maybe 2 hours away, like Taunton or Wolverhampton. Sure, they look run down, but doesn’t most of London, really? There’s probably less crime in Taunton. Get yourself a 2 bed house in Wolverhampton for £130K instead of £800K in Hammersmith. You can get Amazon to deliver there, Netflix stream there. OK, you don’t have the musicals on your doorstep but how often do you really go.