Agenda: Pet Shop Boys; Adam Driver; The Shard; festival fashion; rising house prices
Sunday 26 May 2013
Middle-class problems: House prices
By Simmy Richman
Unless you are one of those unfortunate souls we pityingly call "first-time buyers", chances are you are sitting on a gold mine. (Or perhaps you're perfectly happy renting, in which case you are sitting on someone else's gold mine.) Anyway, the point is that despite austerity, double-dips and general hardship, house prices in most parts of the UK have continued to boom while all around has been going bust.
And don't we all love to remind ourselves about it. "We bought it for X and now it's worth Y," we console ourselves around dinner-party tables. "See how much that house down the street went for?" we ask our neighbours on the way to pick up the morning paper.
Yet the truth is that unless we are thinking of downsizing or moving to the Outer Hebrides, the entire topic is academic – for the simple reason that if our house has increased by so many per cent since we moved in, then the same will be true of any property we desire to buy. In short, IT DOESN'T MATTER.
But none of that stops us, because it has become a sort of middle-class sport to keep one eye on Zoopla while we lust over what the current valuation of our property might buy us in parts of the country/world we have no intention of ever moving to.
Could it be that with little money in our pockets, there is comfort to be taken in believing that we have, at least, made one sound investment over the course of our lives? Or is that we are united by a collective delusion that it is actually us (rather than our mortgage lenders) who are sitting on that gold mine?
musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
- 4 Queen's first tweet: Reply telling Her Majesty to 'f*** off' broadcast on BBC News
- 5 #AskNigelFarage: Twitter starts hilarious Q&A for Ukip leader
This is what a film sex scene actually looks like on set (mostly awkward)
Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
Pottermore: JK Rowling writes new Harry Potter story featuring 'greying' 33-year-old wizard
JK Rowling to publish new Harry Potter story online for Halloween
Fury, film review: Brad Pitt stars in visceral and brutally ugly drama that reminds us war is hell
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Tony Blair 'says Ed Miliband will lose 2015 general election'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Putin: The US is to blame for almost all the world's major conflicts