Monday, December 30, 2013

New House

M and I bought a house recently, and moved in at the start of the month.

This is a new experience for me, as I've always rented before and think the whole British housing market is an over-priced over hyped bazaar of lunacy. As the housing charity Shelter pointed out recently, if since 1971 the price of a supermarket frozen chicken had been subject to the same inflation as housing, the bird would now cost £51.18

Alas the alternative, renting, was making my landlord far too rich, so with some scrimping and saving and a very generous assist from the Bank of Mum and Dad, the deed was done back in September, although it took ages for the current occupiers to find a place of their own.

It's not a bad house by any means, and if we'd paid £60,000 for it I'd be perfectly content. Of course it cost more than double that.  But here's the real eye opener - just how much money and economic activity is generated from this single house sale. 

Here's what I mean - over the past four months we've employed the following professionals (mostly for the first time):

  • Estate agents
  • Solicitors
  • A mortgage adviser
  • A house surveyor
  • An insurance broker
  • A picture framer
  • A television arial engineer

And here's just a few of the things we've bought for the house in the same period:

  • A bed and mattress
  • A cast iron cooking pot
  • A food mixer
  • Several knives
  • Eight sets of crockery
  • A table cloth
  • A large bowl
  • A large chopping board
  • A mirror

And so on and so on. This is a phenomenal amount of economic activity, and I one of those eureka moments when I sat down and thought about all this a few days ago. Of course no British government whether Tory or Labour or coalition dares to cool down or reduce the ever rising British house market. No wonder governments that preside over house price falls or even price stability get kicked out by ungrateful electorate. No wonder the current economic recovery, so long overdue and awaited, started with the government kick starting the housing market.

And what a fool I was not to realise this sooner, and jump on the housing ladder myself instead of waiting two or more decades for prices to fall when, as i now realise, so many vested interests from the Prime Minister down would never allow them to fall.