From Boom to Bust?

What's happening to the housing market today?

At Attic Self Storage, personal storage is one of our core businesses and we speak to a lot of people who are moving house and buying homes. We’ve helped a lot of people move and that gives us a unique insight into what’s going on in the property market.

We’ve noticed changes over the years and with the housing market continuing to dominate the media, we decided to look further, to see if the reality matches up with what we’re being told. We know that moving house is a struggle for most young people, but how much of a struggle?

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The state of the UK housing market

Currently, the media and statistics tell us loans to homeowners are down 20%, London alone has seen a 13% drop in homeowners and there’s been a 47% drop in mortgages for first time buyers. Today, only 10% of the 18-24 age group can afford to buy a home.

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26% of 18-35 year olds in London own their home. By 2025, it’s estimated this could drop to 5%! Young people nowadays are reliant on the Bank of Mum & Dad to get on the property ladder with 51% of 18-34 year olds believing they will need financial help. On average, parents will give £17,500 and were involved in 25% of all mortgage transactions in 2016

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22 years to save for the average deposit

We calculate it could take the average person in the region of 22 years to save up the required amount for a deposit.

The average UK home price in 2015 was £221,111, with an average deposit of 17%. This means a mortgage of roughly £175,000.

The average 30-year-old earns £24,000, spends 70% on rent and bills and has roughly £340 monthly disposable income to cover food and other costs; leaving very little room to save up the money for a deposit. In London and the South East, the problem is greater, with the average home costing £480,000.

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The dream of home ownership is still seen by many millennials as a life-affirming moment but we know that it’s a real struggle for young people to get on the housing ladder. We looked at how it plays out on social media…

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Constructed "success" on Instagram

Of the 4.6million Instagram posts that contained #homeowner related terms, several common hashtags appeared regularly, all portraying a successful, happy, and ultimately fulfilled ‘adult’ life.

It’s hard for young people to buy their own home and it’s known that Instagram is a place for showcasing a perfectly constructed, idealised ‘reality’ to your peers. The 4.6 million positive posts show millennials are having to work hard just to get on the property ladder, and they’re using social media to document their journey.

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Our research showed that of 370,000 social media posts over a 6 month period on networks other than Instagram, the overall sentiment was negative. Words like exhausting, money, mortgages and furniture all made regular appearances. Home buyers now are using the other social networks to solve their problems, find solutions, and generally vent throughout the process. There are 2x as many negative conversations as positives ones taking place when buying a home. Once the journey is complete, the stresses are over and the keys are in the lock, the final step is to post the picture to Instagram. Instagram contains 3x as many posts about moving house as other channels with #adulting, #newhome and #dreamhouse becoming a sign of a user’s progress into adulthood and home ownership.

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Social networks permeate most aspects of our lives, especially the younger generation. They’re using social media like never before to illustrate their journey into home ownership and ultimately ‘adulthood’, one that’s becoming harder for more and more young people to achieve.

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