Recently, I’ve been thinking about buying a flat. I figure if I would struggle to afford renting a place, it would be easier to buy somewhere. Specious logic I’ll grant you, but I figure that with renting all you can really take away is memories, and as fun and good and useful as memories are, I don’t really want to spend several grand on them.
So buying it is.
The problem is that here we have fairly inflated house prices here. In fact, it was considered standard practice to add a minimum of 30% to the listing price (unless the property was fixed price of course). Whether this is still true after the mooted imminent-or-already-occuring property price crash remains to be seen. Regardless, this of course makes buying somewhere in a reasonable area currently unfeasible for me.
Which is why it faintly amused me to read a piece on the BBC entitled ‘Bring on the property crash’. It documents the laments of people like me, trying to get on the bottom rung of the property ladder. Choice quotes include this article’s title, and:
“I went to see a one-bedroom cottage in the country – it had no water, no electricity, no kitchen, no bathroom, no drainage and no sewerage,” Sebastian says. “The asking price was Â£125,000”
“It’s the buy-to-let owners I blame – not people who rent out the odd flat, but the handful of portfolios that own most of the properties around here.”
I guess the latter has a ring of truth to it – if you buy to let a whole bunch of properties, that’s going to reduce availability and drive up prices. But I guess that’s the way they make money…
In any case, it would appear that now is not the time to buy for investment reasons, although if I do somehow manage to raise enough money to buy a place and I see something worthwhile, I might just buy it. After all, as Izzy Miyaghi says (quoted) in the article:
“I’m not looking for an investment. I’m looking for somewhere to live.”