A hidden crisis hits the real estate market

Hamptons’ Aneisha Beveridge said: “I mainly think it’s a demand side factor because of the cost of living crisis.” The contrast with the more expensive part of the market is enormous. Sales of £1m homes in February were up 40% year-on-year, despite the end of the stamp duty holiday. Compared to 2019, the jump was 125%.

Simon Rubinsohn of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said: “Most of the burden of the cost of living crisis will fall on people on low incomes. This will affect the ability of many tenants to move up the housing ladder. Their ability to save will be limited at a time when interest rates rise.

A 33-year-old buyer who requested anonymity bought a 30pc part of a two-bedroom maisonette in Greenwich, London, with her husband three years ago. They bought through the government’s Shared Ownership Scheme, an affordable housing initiative that allows buyers to buy part of a house and pay rent on the rest until they can afford to live. ‘to buy.

The couple have a combined income of £77,000 a year and want to leave London and buy a £300,000 house near Southampton. But their purchasing power is disappearing. “We can’t do it without help even though we’re already on the property ladder and have good jobs,” the buyer said.

The couple pay £1,000 a month for their three-year-old to go to nursery and £730 in rent and service charges. In April, that bill will jump £100, an increase of 14%. Rising food prices mean the cost of their monthly purchases has risen from £120 to £200. Their energy bills will also rise by a third next month and are expected to rise further. “It’s really scary. If our heating bills double, all of our savings will go,” she said.

She received a 4.9 per cent pay rise, but that is below the rate of inflation, which the Office for Budget Responsibilty, the government’s budget watchdog, expects to average 7.4. % This year.

Penny D. Jackson