Help for homeowners: the Daily Mail spin

You’ve got to love the Daily Mail spin on today’s announcement for helping home buyers (not homeowners as they say).

Only families on earnings below £60,000 will qualify, however, making it unsuitable for many Londoners needing higher incomes to meet sky-high prices. (my emphasis)

Well yes, it’s true that you need a big income to buy a house in London. That’s why most people on a normal income buy flats and smaller properties, or, more likely, rent. Just because the average house price in London is £375,000 or thereabouts, doesn’t mean that’s what first-time buyers are going for. A young family with low earnings will be looking for a flat in a new build, at considerably less.

The use of the word ‘only’ implies that the majority of those looking for homes in London won’t qualify. But using last year’s figures 85% (that’s eighty five percent) of London households earn less than £60k. This will have come down a bit through wage inflation, but it does mean that the vast majority will qualify. It might be unsuitable because it won’t help them earn enough. Perhaps the Daily Mail would be in favour of reducing income inequality by increasing the wages of the working class.

It reminds me of the story the other week of the bankers who thought that it took £162,000 to be in the top 10% of earnings. Actually, it’s £40,000. They have no idea that 90% of workers in the UK earn less than £40k.

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