You smashed it at university, got a great degree - with the unfortunate side of debt they serve it with - and now you're in a good job that pays decent money. In the old days that would see you on the housing ladder in no time. Not any more though, because there aren't enough houses, the ones that exist are massively overpriced, and London's flats are acquired as investments and left empty.
All of this means that young people - and, honestly, some not young people - are forced to rent houses and that those rents are increasing all the time. This is happening in spite of wage stagnation. But while rent is unaffordable, mortgages in popular areas - and where the jobs are - are becoming absurdly expensive.
The Guardian reports that 24% (5.79 million) of all households will be renters by 2021 - the number is currently 21%. There will be 14.3 million owner/occupiers along with 4.3 million in social housing. Many of the private rental properties are owned by large corporations like city financiers and property companies.
Of course, there's nothing especially bad about renting, but the UK doesn't have the same long leases found in Europe. What that means is that you can never consider a rental property as a long-term home because there's always a chance it will be sold from under you. Plus the way deposits work make attempting modifications a colossal risk and landlords are often reluctant to spend money on making alterations and improving the property.
Rents are also cripplingly expensive, with 40% of tenants spending half their income on rent. It's pretty hard to get on the property ladder if 75% of your wage is going on food, rent and getting to work.
And just a quick reminder, thanks to the Conservative party voting down an amendment by the Labour party, there is no requirement for the house you rent to even be fit for human habitation. It might be time for the government to get involved in sorting out the rental market. [via: The Guardian]