Monday, 23 October 2017

Margate Baby Boomers vs. Margate Millennials (Part 2)



Well last week’s article “The Unfairness of the Margate Baby Boomer’s £2,704,300,000 windfall?” caused a stir. In it we looked at a young family member of mine who was arguing the case that Millennials (those born after 1985) were suffering on the back of the older generation in Margate. They claimed the older generation had seen the benefit of the cumulative value of Margate properties significantly increasing over the last 25/30 years (which I calculated at  £2.70bn since 1990). In addition many of the older generation (the baby boomers) had fantastic pensions, which meant the younger generation were priced out of the Margate housing market.

I replied there should be no surprise though that the older members of our society hold considerably more of our country’s wealth than the younger generation. This wealth is accrued and saved across someone’s life, and reaches it’s peak about the time of retirement. If we are to comprehend differing wealth levels between generations we need to compare ‘apples with apples’. It is much more important to track the wealth held by different generations at the same age, i.e. what was ‘real’ wealth of the 30-something couple in the 1960’s compared to a 30-something couple say in the 1980’s or 2010’s?
Looking back over the last 120 years at various economic studies, this growth in wealth from one generation to the next (at the age range), only happened over a 30 year period of between 1960 and late 1980’s. Since the 1990’s, wealth has not improved across the generations, in the same age range.

So could it be all about these people saving? The fact is, in the last 10 years, UK households have saved on average 7.5% to 8% of the household income into savings accounts, compared to an average of 6% to 7% in the late 1960’s and 1970’s. The baby boomers haven’t been actively squirreling away their cash for the last 30 or 40 years in savings accounts to accumulate their wealth. Most of their gains have been passive, lucky bonuses gained on the back of things out of their control (unanticipated and massive property value rises or people living longer making final salary pensions more valuable) – it’s not their fault!

...and herein lies the issue … it is assumed that these Millennials aren’t buying property in the same numbers like the older generation did in the past (because most of their wealth has come from house price inflation). The Millennials have often been described as ‘Generation Rent’, because they rent as opposed to buying property – because we are told they cant buy.


However, when Margate mortgage payments are measured against monthly income, home ownership is affordable by historic standards because mortgage rates are currently so low. As you can see, the ratio of average house price to average earnings in Margate hasn’t vastly changed over the last decade …

  • 2008 average house price to average earnings of a single person in Margate 8.24 to 1  

  • 2017 average house price to average earnings of a single person in Margate 8.02 to 1

(i.e. in 2008, the average house price in Margate was 8.24 times more than the average person’s salary in Margate and this has dropped to 8.02 in 2017 – and all this off the property boom of the early 2010’s)

2008 2017


95% first-time buyer mortgages were reintroduced in 2010. The average interest rate charged for those 95% FTB mortgages has slowly dropped from around 5.5% in 2009 to the current 4% rate. Back in the 1980’s/1990’s mortgage interest rates were between 8% and 10%, and one time in the early 1990’s, reached 15%! The main difference between the two periods was the absolute borrowing relative to income is greater now than in the 1980’s. They call this the ‘mortgage to joint household income ratio’. In the 1980’s the mortgage was between 1.8x to 2x joint income; today it is 3.4x to 3.6x salary.

The simple fact is, in the majority of cases, it is still cheaper for a first-time buyer to buy a property with a 95% mortgage, than it is rent it. The barrier for these Millennials, has to be finding the 5% mortgage deposit – instead of being able to afford monthly mortgage outgoings at the current 95% mortgage rates?

Millennials make up 9,119 households in the Thanet District Council area (or 15.3% of all households in the area).  However, behind the doom and gloom, surprisingly, 25.9% did save up the 5% deposit and do in fact own their own home (that surprised you didn’t it!)

Nonetheless, the majority of Millennials in the area still do rent from a landlord (5,446 Millennial households to be exact). Yet, they have a choice. Buckle down and do what their parents did and go without the nice things in life for a couple of years (i.e. the holidays, out on the town two times a week, the annual upgraded mobile phones, the £100 a month Satellite packages) and save for a 5% mortgage deposit ... or live in a lovely rented house or apartment (because they are nowadays), without any maintenance bills and live a life with no intention of buying (because renting doesn’t have a stigma anymore like it did in the 1960’s/70’s (secretly hoping their parents don’t spend all their inheritance so they can buy a property later in life – like they do in central Europe).

Neither decision is right or wrong – although it is still a choice. Until Millennials decide to change their choices – that is the reason why the country’s private rental sector will continue to grow for the next 30 years – meaning happy tenants and happy landlords.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

The Unfairness of the Margate Baby Boomer’s £2,704,300,000 Windfall? (Part 1)


Recently I was having a chat with one of my second cousins at a big family get-together. The last time I had seen them their children were in their early teens. Now their children are all grown up, have partners, dogs and children. Wow – how time flies!

So, I got talking over a glass of lemonade with my 2nd cousins and a couple of their children, about the times of 15% interest rates and how the more mature members of our family had to endure the 3 day week, 20% inflation and the threat of nuclear annihilation in 4 minutes .. so, foolishly, I said what with all the opportunities youngsters had today, they had never had it so good!

Trust one of my cousin’s children to have gained some financial/economics qualifications before going to Law School, as they debated with me the genuine economic predicament of Millennials and how a combination of student debt, unemployment, global proliferation, EU migration and rising house values is reducing the salaries and outlook of masses of the UK’s younger generation, causing an unparalleled disparity of wealth between the generations. So of course I asked why that was?

They said Millennials were paying the price for the UK’s most spectacular bookkeeping catastrophe to date (bigger than the Bank bailout after the Credit Crunch). Back in the 1950’s and 1960’s, nobody predicted us Brit’s would live as long as we do today, and in such abundant numbers. The OAP pensions that were promised in the past (be that Government State Pension or Company Final Salary Schemes) which appeared to be nothing fancy at the time, are now burdensomely over-lavish, and that is hurting the Millennials of today and will do so for years to come.

Bringing it back to property, the young 2nd cousin once removed ‘soon to be’ lawyer, stated that baby boomers born between 1945 and 1965 have been big recipients of the vast rising house prices over the 1970’s/80’s/90’s and 2000’s. Add to that their decent pensions, meaning cumulatively, their wealth has grown exponentially through no skill of their own.

This disparity of wealth between the older and younger generations could have unparalleled consequences for the living standards of younger Millennials…. So Houston Margate – do we have a problem??

Well Margate Property Blog readers, you know I like a challenge. I can’t disagree with some of what the younger family member said, but there are always two sides to every story, so I thought I would do some homework on the matter ..

Since 1990, the average value of a property in Margate has risen from £57,500 to its current level of £215,600. As there are a total of 17,105 homeowners aged over 50 in Margate; that means there has been a £2.70bn windfall for those Margate homeowners fortunate enough to own their own homes during the property boom of the 1990s and early 2000’s.



I must admit that the growth in property values in the 1990’s and 2000’s certainly helped many of Margate’s baby boomers. The figures do appear to put into reverse gear the perceived wisdom that each generation gets wealthier than the previous one  … and so with all this wealth, the figures do back up the youngsters argument that Millennials are being priced out of home ownership.
Or do they? Are they?

Soon, I will carry on this discussion where I will give the Baby Boomer’s defence to the prosecution’s case!

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Thanet House Prices Outstrip Wage Growth by 16.7% since 2007


I recently read a report by the Yorkshire Building Society that 54% of the country has seen wages (salaries) rise faster than property prices in the last 10 years. The report said that in the Midlands and North, salaries had outperformed property prices since 2007, whilst in other parts of the UK, especially in the South, the opposite has happened and property prices have outperformed salaries quite noticeably.

As regular readers of my blog know, I always like to find out what has actually happened locally in Thanet. To talk of North and South is not specific enough for me. Therefore, to start, I looked at what has happened to salaries locally since 2007. Looking at the Office of National Statistics (ONS) data for Thanet District Council, some interesting figures came out...


Salaries in Thanet have risen by 8.64% since 2007 (although it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride to get there!) - interesting when you compare that with what has happened to salaries regionally (an increase of 15.87%) and nationally, an increase of 17.61%.

Next, I needed to find what had happened to property prices locally over the same time frame of 2007 and today. Net property values in Thanet are 25.34% higher than they were in late 2007 (not forgetting they did dip in 2008 and 2009). Therefore...

Property values in the Thanet area have increased at a higher rate than wages to the tune of 16.7% ... meaning, Thanet is in line with the regional trend


All this is important, as the relationship between salaries and property values is the basis on how affordable property is to first (and second, third etc.) time buyers. It is also vitally relevant for Thanet landlords as they need to be aware of this when making their buy-to-let plans for the future. If more Thanet people are buying, then demand for Thanet rental properties will drop (and vice versa).

As I have discussed in a few articles in my blog recently, this issue of ‘property-affordability’ is a great bellwether to the future direction of the Thanet property market. Now of course, it isn’t as simple as comparing salaries and property prices, as that measurement disregards issues such as low mortgage rates and the diminishing proportion of disposable income that is spent on mortgage repayments.

On the face of it, the change between 2007 and 2017 in terms of the ‘property-affordability’ hasn’t been that great. However, look back another 10 years to 1997, and that tells a completely different story. Nationally, the affordability of property more than halved between 1997 and today. In 1997, house prices were on average 3.5 times workers’ annual wages, whereas in 2016 workers could typically expect to spend around 7.7 times annual wages on purchasing a home.

The issue of a lack of homeownership has its roots in the 1980’s and 1990’s. It’s quite hard as a tenant to pay your rent and save money for a deposit simultaneously, meaning for many Thanet people, home ownership isn't a realistic goal. Earlier in the year, the Tories released proposals to combat the country’s 'broken' housing market, setting out plans to make renting more affordable, while increasing the security of rental deals and threatening to bring tougher legal action to cases involving bad landlords.

This is all great news for Thanet tenants and decent law-abiding Thanet landlords (and indirectly owner occupier homeowners). Whatever has happened to salaries or property prices in Thanet in the last 10 (or 20) years ... the demand for decent high-quality rental property keeps growing. If you want a chat about where the Thanet property market is going – please read my other blog posts on Thanet Property Blog or drop me note via email, like many Thanet landlords are doing.




Friday, 13 October 2017

The Expense of Moving to Get More Bedrooms


Moving to a bigger home is something Ramsgate people with growing young families aspire to. Many people in two bedroom homes move to a three-bedroom home and some even make the jump to a four-bed home. Bigger homes, especially three-bed Ramsgate homes are much in demand and it can be a costly move.

If you live in Ramsgate in a two-bedroom property and wish to move to a four-bedroom house in Ramsgate, you would need to spend an additional £172,031 (or £679.52 pm in mortgage payments (based on the UK Bank average standard variable rate)). However, going straight to a four bed from a two-bed home is quite rare as most people jump from a two to three-bedroom home, then later in life, from a three to four-bedroom home.

So, after being asked my thoughts on moving home in Ramsgate by a friend recently, please find my analysis of the local property market and then some thoughts. To start with, let us see what the average property price is for a Ramsgate property by the number of bedrooms it has.


I then decided to calculate what it would cost to make the jump upmarket from one bedroom to two bedrooms, two to three bedrooms etc, etc, both in actual money and in mortgage payments (using the current standard variable rate of UK Banks of 4.74% - so the mortgage cost could be higher or lower depending on the mortgage taken).


There are some interesting jumps in costs when moving upmarket as a Ramsgate buyer. The cost of moving from one to two beds, and two to three beds is relatively reasonable, whilst the jump from three to four beds in Ramsgate is quite high and therefore financially prohibitive for most families. This helps provide a partial explanation as to why some four-bed properties are currently taking slightly longer to sell.

As an aside, there is a lesson here for all my blog readers. You can quite clearly see why the larger 4 and 5 bed properties don’t offer the best returns for buy to let. Simply put the monthly finance costs and rents achieved don’t match up so well (i.e. a mortgage for a 4 bed home in Ramsgate would cost you 43.50% compared to a 3 bed mortgage, but the jump in rent would be a lot less than that). I don’t wish to be dismissive about the solidity of investing in larger properties because it does depend on your circumstances. Four bedroom properties sometimes offer other advantages. Pick up the phone if you want to know what they are in more detail.

A further look at the stock of properties in Ramsgate is revealing.


The most active purchasers are 20 and 30 something home-owning parents with growing families. Many look to more modern developments for the perfect balance of access to decent primary schools, commutability and lifestyle. For landlords looking to buy within Ramsgate, they face stiff competition from these 20/30 something families, making the three bedroom Ramsgate home massively in demand, often attracting spirited offers and selling within weeks of listing. This mix of homebuyers and landlords is a pressure point in the Ramsgate property market.  Again, if you are a landlord, call me and I will show you areas with decent returns where you aren’t in so much competition with young Ramsgate family homebuyers.

Yet, the cost of an additional bedroom can be too much for some Ramsgate buyers. It is quite challenging moving home the first time, but to then find you are priced out on the next move up the ladder can be quite disconcerting, with families often having to move to a different part of town to get the bigger home they need. 

Nevertheless, that’s the position many homeowners find themselves in with the cost of the additional bedroom being too much to bear. To those buying their home for the first time, all I suggest is they not only consider the mortgage payments and other costs of their first home, but also do their homework into their next rung up the Ramsgate property ladder. Thinking about it now will keep you ahead of the game in the future; as your number of bedrooms, family property needs and lifestyle wants change.

..and Ramsgate landlords – well these changes in the way people live also mean there are opportunities to be had in the Ramsgate rental market. Many Ramsgate landlords are starting to pick my brain on this, so if you don’t want to miss out – drop me a line.

Read more on the Thanet Property Blog.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Ramsgate Homeowners and their £602.7 million Debt


Over the last year and a bit, the UK has decided to leave the EU, have a General Election with a result that didn’t go to plan for Mrs May and to add insult to injury, our American cousins elected Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States. It could be said this should have caused some unnecessary unpredictability into the UK property market.

The reality is that the housing and mortgage market (for the time being) has shown a noteworthy resilience. Indeed on the back of the Monetary Policy pursued by the Bank of England there has been a notable improvement of macro-economic conditions! In July for example it was announced that we are witness to the lowest levels of unemployment for nearly 50 years. Furthermore, despite the UK construction industry building 21% more properties than same time the previous year, there has still been a disproportionate increase in demand for housing, particularly in the most thriving areas of the Country. Repossessions too are also at an all-time low at 3,985 for the last Quarter (Q1 2017) from a high of 29,145 in Q1 2009. All these things have resulted in...

Property values in Ramsgate according to the
Land Registry are 7.98% higher than a year ago

So, what does all this mean for the homeowners and landlords of Ramsgate, especially in relation to property prices moving forward?

One vital bellwether of the property market (and property values) is the mortgage market. The UK mortgage market is worth £961,653,701,493 (that’s £961bn) and it representative of 13,314,512 mortgages (interestingly, the UK’s mortgage market is the largest in Europe in terms of amount lent per year and the total value of outstanding loans). Uncertainty causes banks to stop lending – look what happened in the credit crunch and that seriously affects property prices.

Roll the clock back to 2007, and nobody had heard of the term ‘credit crunch’, but now the expression has entered our everyday language.  It took a few months throughout the autumn of 2007, before the crunch started to hit the Ramsgate property market, but in late 2007, and for the following year and half, Ramsgate property values dropped each month like the notorious heavy lead balloon, meaning …
The credit crunch caused Ramsgate property values to drop by 20.2%
Under the sustained pressure of the Credit Crunch, the Bank of England realised that the UK economy was stalling in the early autumn of 2008. Loan book lending (sub-prime phenomenon) in the US and across the world was the trigger for this pressure. In a bid to stimulate the British economy there were six successive interest rates drops between October 2008 and March 2009; this resulted in interest rates falling from 5% to 0.5%!
Thankfully, after a period of stagnation, the Ramsgate property market started to recover slowly in 2011 as certainty returned to the economy as a whole and Ramsgate property values really took off in 2013 as the economy sped upwards. Thankfully, the ‘fire’ was taken out of the property market in Spring 2015 (otherwise we could have had another boom and bust scenario like we had in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s), with new mortgage lending rules. Throughout 2016, we saw a return to more realistic and stable medium term property price growth. Interestingly, property prices recovered in Ramsgate from the post Credit Crunch 2009 dip and are now 54.6% higher than they were in 2009.

Now, as we enter the autumn of 2017, with the Conservatives having been re-elected on their slender majority, the Ramsgate property market has recouped its composure and in fact, there has been some aggressive competition among mortgage lenders, which has driven mortgage rates down to record lows. This is good news for Ramsgate homeowners and landlords, over the last few months a mortgage price war has broken out between lenders, with many slashing the rates on their deals to the lowest they have ever offered.  For example, recently, HSBC launched a 1.69% five-year fixed mortgage!

Interestingly, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the level of mortgage lending had soared to an all-time high in the UK.
In the Ramsgate postcodes of CT11 & CT12, if you added up everyone’s mortgage, it would total £602,786,433!

Since 1977, the average Bank of England interest rate has been 6.65%, making the current 323 year all time low rate of 0.25% very low indeed. Thankfully, the proportion of borrowers fixing their mortgage rate has gone from 31.52% in the autumn of 2012 to the current 59.3%. If you haven’t fixed – maybe you should follow the majority?
In my modest opinion, especially if things do get a little rocky and uncertainty seeps back in the coming years (and nobody knows what will happen on that front), one thing I know is for certain, interest rates can only go one way from their 300 year ultra 0.25% low level ... and that is why I consider it important to highlight this to all the homeowners and landlords of Ramsgate. Maybe, just maybe, you might want to consider taking some advice from a qualified mortgage adviser? There are plenty of them in Ramsgate.
If you are interested in the Ramsgate Property Market, you might learn something by visiting the blog.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

36.1% Drop in Thanet People Moving Home in the Last 10 Years


I was having a lazy Saturday morning, reading through the newspapers at my favourite coffee shop in Thanet.  I find the most interesting bits are their commentaries on the British Housing Market.  Some talk about property prices, whilst others discuss the younger generation grappling to get a foot-hold on the property ladder with difficulties of saving up for the deposit.  Others feature articles about the severe lack of new homes being built (which is especially true in Thanet!).  A group of people that don’t often get any column inches however are those existing homeowners who can’t move! 

Back in the early 2000’s, between 1m and 1.3m people moved each year in England and Wales, peaking at 1,349,306 home-moves (i.e. house sales) in 2002.  However, the ‘credit crunch’ hit in 2008 and the number of house sales fell to 624,994 in 2009.  Since then this has steadily recovered, albeit to a more ‘respectable’ 899,708 properties by 2016.  This means there are around 450,000 fewer house sales (house-moves) each year compared to the noughties.  The question is ... why are there fewer house sales?


To answer that, we need to go back 50 years.  Inflation was high in the late 1960’s, 70’s and early 80’s.  To combat this, the Government raised interest rates to a high level in a bid to lower inflation.  Higher interest rates meant the householders monthly mortgage payments were higher, meaning mortgages took a large proportion of the homeowner’s household budget. However, this wasn’t all bad news since inflation tends to erode mortgage debt in ‘real spending power terms’.  Consequently, as wages grew (to keep up with inflation), this allowed home owners to get even bigger mortgages.  At the same time their mortgage debt was decreasing, therefore allowing them to move up the property ladder quicker. 

Roll the clock on to the late 1990’s and the early Noughties, and things had changed.  UK interest rates tumbled as UK inflation dropped.  Lower interest rates and low inflation, especially in the five years 2000 to 2005, meant we saw double digit growth in the value of UK property.  This inevitably meant all the home owner’s equity grew significantly, meaning people could continue to move up the property ladder (even without the effects of inflation).

This snowball effect of significant numbers moving house continued into the mid noughties (2004 to 2007), as Banks and Building Society’s slackened their lending criteria.  [You will probably remember the 125% loan to value Northern Rock Mortgages that could be obtained with just a note from your Mum!!].  This  meant home movers could borrow even more to move up the property ladder.

So, now it’s 2017 and things have changed yet again!

You would think that with ultra-low interest rates at 0.25% (a 320-year low) the number of people moving would be booming – wouldn’t you?  However, this has not been the case.  Less people are moving because:
 
(1) low wage growth of 1.1% per annum 
(2) the tougher mortgage rules since 2014 
(3) sporadic property price growth in the last few years
(4) high property values comparative to salaries (I talked about this a couple of months ago)

What does this translate to in pure numbers locally? 

In 2007, 4,499 properties sold in the Thanet District Council area and last year, in 2016 only 2,874 properties sold – a drop of 36.12%.

Therefore, we have just over 1,625 less households moving in the Thanet and surrounding Council area each year.  Now of that number, it is recognised throughout the property industry around fourth fifths of them are homeowners with a mortgage. That means there are around 1,333 mortgaged households a year (fourth fifths of the figure of 1,625) in the Thanet and surrounding council area that would have moved 10 years ago, but won’t this year. 

The reason they can’t/won’t move can be split down into different categories, explained in a recent report by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). So, of those estimated 1,333 annual Thanet (and surrounding area) non-movers, based on that CML report -

1. There are around 480 households a year that aren’t moving due to a fall in the number of mortgaged owner occupiers (i.e. demographics).

2. I then estimate another 187 households a year are of the older generation mortgaged owner occupiers. As they are increasingly getting older, older people don’t tend to move, regardless of what is happening to the property market (i.e. lifestyle).

3. Then, I estimate 80 households of our Thanet (and surrounding area) annual non-movers will mirror the rising number of high equity owner occupiers, who previously would have moved with a mortgage but now move as cash buyers (i.e. high house price growth).

4. I believe there are 586 Thanet (and surrounding area) mortgaged homeowners that are unable to move because of the financing of the new mortgage or keeping within the new rules of mortgage affordability that came into play in 2014 (i.e. mortgage).

The first three above are beyond the Government or Bank of England control.  However could there be some influence exerted to help the non-movers because of financing the new mortgage and keeping within the new rules of mortgage affordability? If Thanet property values were lower, this would decrease the size of each step up the property ladder.  This would mean the opportunity cost of increasing their mortgage would reduce (i.e. opportunity cost = the step up in their mortgage payments between their existing and future new mortgage) and they would be able to move to more upmarket properties.

Then there is the mortgage rules, but before we all start demanding a relaxation in lending criteria for the banks, do we want to return to free and easy mortgages 125% Northern Rock footloose and fancy-free mortgage lending that seemed to be available in the mid 2000’s ... available at a drop of hat and three tokens from a cereal packet?

We all know what happened with Northern Rock …. Your thoughts would be welcome on this topic.

Read more on the Thanet Property Blog

Friday, 29 September 2017

Decreasing Numbers of Younger Homeowners in Margate


Scott Palmer, 38-year-old father of two from Margate, was out house hunting. It was a pleasant August Saturday afternoon, and our man cycles along on his bike. He cycles up a street of suburban semis, where he spots a few retired mature neighbours, chatting to each other over the garden fence. He leans his bicycle against a lamppost and launches softly into his property search.

Anyone on the road contemplating moving?” Scott asks, “I am not a landlord or developer, I’m just a Margate bloke trying to get out of renting, buy a house, do it up and live in it with my wife and two children

The only way I will leave here is in a box”, answers an 80-something lady, wearing her fading Paisley patterned housecoat from the 1970’s.

I‘ve lived here since before you were born, its lovely up here .. we aren’t moving, are we Doris?” (as her neighbour sagely shook his head at his wife).

Scott, like many Margate people born in the late 1970’s to the early 1990’s, is keen to get a slice of prime Margate real estate. Yet people like Scott in Generation Y (or the Millennials as some people call them i.e. born between 1977 and 1994 and needing family housing now) are discovering, as each year passes by, they are becoming more neglected and ignored when it comes to moving up the property ladder.

Looking at the graph for the UK as whole…


Over 75 percent of Brits aged 65 and above (the baby boomers) are owner-occupiers, the biggest share since records began and a proportional rise of over 48.3% since the early 1980’s. Looking at those Baby Boomers (the current 65+year olds)  .. and roll the clock back 36 years (to when they were in their 30’s and 40’s and two thirds (65.6%) of them owned their own home.
Whilst today, just under a half of 25 to 49 year olds (47.3%) own their own home.

However, the biggest drop has been in the 18 to 24-year old’s, where home ownership has dropped from a third (32%) in the 1980’s to less than one in ten (8.9%) today. Looking at the Margate statistics, the numbers make even more interesting reading.



Government policy contributes to the generational stalemate. Stamp Duty rules prevent older Brits from moving as the price of land and planning rules make it harder to build affordable bungalows that are attractive to members of the older generation who want to move.

The average value of an acre of prime building land in the UK is between £750,000 and £800,000 per acre. Bungalows are the favoured option for the older generation, but the problem is bungalows take up too much land to make them profitable for new homes builders. The housing market is gridlocked with youngsters wanting to get on (then move up) the property ladder whilst the older generation, who want to move from their larger houses to smaller, more modern bungalows, can’t. The problem is – there simply aren’t enough bungalows being built and the high price of land, means they are prohibitive to build.

So, what is my point? Well, all I would say to the homeowners of Margate is that one solution could be to start to talk to your local councillors, so they can mould the planners’ thoughts and the local authority thinking in setting land aside for bungalows instead of two up two down starter homes? That would free the impasse at the top of the property ladder (i.e. mature people living in big houses but unable to move anywhere), releasing the middle aged gridlocked people in the ladder to move up, thus releasing more existing starter homes for the younger generation.   

… and to you Scott … the wandering new home searcher – if things are going to change, it will be years before they do .. so keep going out and spreading the word of your search for a new home for your family.

Read more on the Thanet Property Blog!