When I was but a youth, I was often told to enjoy myself before I had the ‘millstone of a mortgage around my neck’. It was then assumed that you’d be dragged down by it for another 25 years, a lifetime when you’re but 25 yourself. But, yes, 40 years for young, first-time buyers really is becoming the norm; which, lottery-winning, celebrity stardom aside, makes it likely that they may never be mortgage-free. The reasons are obvious, soaring prices, static incomes and interest rate hikes making shorter terms unaffordable. In London, the cost of property, whether mortgage or rent, uses on average over 60% of a young (under 40s) income. I’m tempted to say something along the lines of ‘my goodness, it is difficult for them these days, so glad I grew up when I did’ etc. But I think every generation says something similar about the next; along with, in the next breath ‘they have it so easy, they don’t know they’re born…’
The average mortgage term is now 30 years, the only way the average loan needed to buy the average home can made be affordable to the average borrower. And here’s proof, were it needed, that things are about to go wrong again.