OPINION: Broadcaster Steve Allen looks at the issues of today

PUBLISHED: 09:00 05 August 2017


You need to risk your life to buy a house

According to the RightMove website last year the average property price in Ilford was £394,019.

According to TotalJobs the average salary in Ilford is £24,449. People would have to borrow 16 times their pay.

For a couple where both are working that brings it down to eight times. One solution to the housing problem would be to get rid of the idea of couples, have relationships that involve four or more people and it would make houses more affordable, if messy.

I know for a lot of young people the dream of getting on the housing ladder is a distant hope made worse by older people who bought their home years ago with a mortgage in the tens of thousands saying, “Well, in my day we just had to work hard and save.”

This week another solution was in the news. A house was on sale in Sunderland for only £1. That’s not a lot of money, especially since Brexit.

Of course there was a catch. It was in Sunderland. I’m kidding. I’m sure Sunderland is lovely.

And there was another catch. It was so dangerous, before you could go to see it you had to sign a waiver. But that’s Sunderland for you. I’m kidding.

It’s what the estate agents would describe as “needs updating” or as the rest of us would say, “It’s a wreck.”

The open viewings were on Saturday. The memorial for the potential buyers could be as soon as next week.

How bad could it be? No one likes the idea of going into a place that’s unfit for human habitation but I remember my bedroom when I was a teenager and that was pretty gross. Somehow we got through.

If you want to get on the housing ladder all you have to do is move to Sunderland and risk your life.

• Tune into Steve’s Friday show on Time 107.5 FM at 2.15pm for the weekly local paper review with the Recorder.

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