Communities secretary Sajid Javid has hit back at claims that young people would be able to afford homes if they stopped buying sandwiches and splurging on nights out and lottery tickets.
Estate agents Strutt & Parker made waves this week with their claims that millennials trying to get onto the property ladder could save the £94,000 deposit needed to buy a London home by cutting back on “six luxuries” – as well as borrowing an additional £29,400 from their parents.
The analysis alleges that a couple could save £6,000 by giving up one night out a week, £2,576 by preparing their own lunch, £2,640 by cutting out takeaways and £832 by sacrificing lottery tickets.
But communities secretary Sajid Javid today said baby boomers who held these opinions were “not facing up to the reality of modern life and have no understanding of the modern market”.
“Where once it would have taken an average couple three years to save for a deposit it will now take a quarter of a century. Assuming, of course, they can afford to save at all,” Javid said.
“And last year, the average first-time buyer in London needed a deposit of more than £90,000. That’s a lot of avocados,” he added, referring to comments made by Australian real estate mogul Tim Gurner earlier this year that young people are spending more on “smashed avocado” than saving for a property.
Average house prices in the UK are around eight times average income, and many are being forced to live at home with their families for longer than ever in order to save money.
The estate agents’ controversial claims sparked major online criticism and ridicule.
Now, I'm not a millennial, but I just bought a sandwich, crisps and a drink for £3.99, while in this area a three bedroom house costs £250,000…or 62,656 meal deals. So if I don't eat lunch for 171 years I'll be able to buy a house. https://t.co/eWl6ExDgAu
— Ian D. Sharman @ MCM London 25th-27th October (@idsharman) November 14, 2017
And online estate agent Emoov mocked the report by offering a free Starbucks sandwich voucher to any first-time buyers that purchase a property through them this week.
Free sandwiches for first-time buyer millennials who complete a house purchase this week! Choose from ham, egg or even avocado ?, it’s the least we can do. Get yours here: https://t.co/MRwpMtxKLz ?#emoovSandwich #StruttParker
— emoov (@emoov) November 15, 2017
Theresa May has pledged to address the issue of the housing shortage and house prices: “We know there are lots of planning permissions out there, I want to see the houses being built.”