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22 November 2017

Posh estate agent's housing crisis solution: make your own sandwiches

Cap private sector rents

Build council homes now

Tanis Belsham-Wray, Leeds Socialist Party

So according to an upmarket estate agent, the solution to the housing crisis is... not buying sandwiches.

Strutt & Parker says that just by giving up six "luxuries" - including nights out, holidays and supermarket sandwiches - Millennial couples can save up a substantial part of a home deposit.

They calculate 94,000 is the average deposit for a house in London, and that we could save that in just five years. To achieve the whole deposit would mean saving 18,800 a year!

They suggest your parents would make up some of it - they assume your parents can afford it. But leaving this aside - and assuming you had, by some miracle, managed to raise enough just by having no life for five years - you still need to get a mortgage.

The average house price in London is 481,556. Mortgage providers will typically lend you around four times your basic salary.

A 481,556 home minus a 94,000 deposit leaves you 387,556 to pay. So you would need to be on a minimum of 96,889 a year. Even earning that as a couple would put you in the top 4 or 5% of incomes.

Working full-time on the London Living Wage will earn you just under 20,000 a year before tax - with many workers, especially young workers, not even getting that.

How about building council homes, and capping private sector rents, and raising the minimum wage? For some reason I don't think making your sandwiches at home or giving up avocado toast will sort it out.