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?
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Kylie Jenner challenge: Bizarre lip suction device inspired by Kardashian sister goes viral
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor are reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
- 4 Bruce Forsyth backs assisted dying campaign: 'If I had Alzheimer's or dementia I would do something about it'
- 5 Giorgio Armani criticises the way some gay men dress saying 'a man has to be a man'
Poldark, review: Revolution is in the air as women fling mud in the eyes of the silly chaps
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Star Wars: Rogue One trailer: Watch the teaser for the Jedi-less Death Star heist film
Star Wars 7: George Lucas admits he hasn't seen The Force Awakens trailer
Avengers: Age of Ultron: 'After credits' scene leaks online
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate