Another day, another damning reveal of Tory priorities. After the mayhem of the weekend, which saw Johnson’s re-branding of the virus as something controllable, as long as we #stayalert, we now have Wednesday Morning’s attempt to re-open the housing market.
This, it has been pointed out, sends a confusing message. On the one hand, we cannot yet meet out loved ones ‘coz virus. On the other hand, we can have countless strangers sift through our property, determine its’ value and make us an offer. So, to be clear, Grandpa is still out of bounds, unless he is in the market for a two up, two down, with charming views of the Thames.
One does not have to be a convicted cynic to see what is going on here.
The Tories are putting the sale and purchase of houses above the welfare of those living in them. This is not a new policy. This is Tory 101. Money matters more than people. It’s also housing policy 101, across the U.K., across Europe. It is why people live and die in over the odds rented accommodation, so that others can live and die with a property portfolio.
One of the first and starkest casualties of the virus, apart from the dead old people, and the dead N.H.S. staff, was AIR B and B. An industry completely reliant on tourists paying vastly inflated rent to cover mortgages and business models that had no get out plan for a world wide recession. It was a very small violin that we played for these victims because, instinctively, we knew their retirement funds came at the expense of our children’s chances on the property ladder.
The property ladder that we all queue to join, coz you’re nobody ’till you own your own home. That’s actually not true. If you want lifelong, residential security, you are better off serving your time in the ‘homeless- will live anywhere for a few years’ property market, in order to gain the most elusive of things – secure, affordable, lifelong accommodation.
See, the most unbelievable plot line in ‘Friends’ was not how six white gorgeous people found each other, but how Monica walked away from a rent controlled apartment in New York City. That would never happen.
People weren’t that stupid, then.
And people aren’t so stupid, now, as to buy and sell properties, willy nilly, during a pandemic. Some will still try to buy and sell, but not enough people to keep the wheels of the property market, where they want it, spinning out of control.
Property rising without end only benefits the few.
Your refurbished bungalow, with a veranda that opens up on a lush back garden, complete with Granny flat, loses some appeal when we have to kill Granny to make the sale.