Congratulations, today is your day. You have found the sale listing of my 'lucky can'. A used and empty can of Heineken 0.0.
This is a story about luck, greed, and capitalism. The good, the bad and the ugly state of housing in the UK, compiled from research and data from reputable sources, such as the Office of National Statistics, as well as drawing on themes from expert opinion pieces.
One day on my travels, I was hit by a car and, thankfully, I was not severely injured. This 'lucky can' was in my backpack at the time and may, or may not, have helped save me from injury. You can see from the pictures that the impact of the collision crushed part of the can... the 'lucky can' and I survived! By buying this item, you could become the sole owner of this epic piece of luck.
The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. Less than 1 in 3 of my age group (33-44) now own a property via a mortgage. As a ‘generation rent’, I am not one of those lucky few…And the question I ask myself is why?
Thanks to the marketisation of 'homes', through the miracle of competition, supply and demand have met to discover the true price of a commodity. For the past decade, a combination of deliberate government policies, rock bottom interest rates and £895bn of quantitative easing has helped propel house prices to record highs.
The price of this can is set at approx. the average property price in the local area upon which I live (at time of writing), excluding ebay fees and costs involved with purchasing a property. Thus with a 10 percent deposit of approx. £38,314+, someone would need to earn £75,000+ a year, or more than twice the median full-time UK salary of about £31,000 to afford a mortgage.
Renting a room costs approx. £500-£750+ per calendar month (or £6000-£9000 per year), often excluding bills. Renting a 1-2 bed property costs approx. £1000-£1800+ per calendar month (or £12,000-£21,600 per year), excluding bills. Market rents across the UK increased by nearly 12% between the second quarter of 2021 and the same period of 2022 – equating to an extra £119 a month on average, or £1,428 a year. The ONS now considers rents in 48 council areas unaffordable, when compared with local average wages. The longest waiting time for social housing is now estimated to be up to 50 years.
House prices have increased by approx 1010% since 1980, and that's around 24 times the rate at which annual salaries have increased. House prices have even risen every month during 2021 and UK average house prices increased by 13.6% over the year to August 2022 or up to £33,000 in cash terms. The average UK salary at the start of 2022 is estimated to be £24,600. Prof Danny Dorling explains that had house prices only risen in line with inflation, over the past 70 years, the average home in 2022 would have cost £63,300. His research details how money is syphoned from the less well off, to the already wealthy, when the former pay excessive rents, and then when they buy an overpriced house, and even when they keep up with their large mortgage payments. Asset managers rule your world.
The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow.
Capitalism's trope is that hard work yields rewards... Yet people are young and talented, work full time for most of their adult lives, never get into debt, live frugally, have excellent credit ratings, have savings, have professional qualifications, did everything the political party of home ownership, and their parents and grandparents told them to do… to get 'on the ladder' and yet find themselves without a toe in their first front door. The Institute of fiscal studies tells us that wealth has grown so rapidly, compared with earnings from work, since the 2008 financial crisis, driven by a surge in house prices, that young people can no longer rely on hard work to improve their living standards as they age. You can barely afford to rent, you can't afford to buy, you can't afford to save to even keep up with the rate of price rises...
When the city you live in makes it into the top 5 cities in the world to invest in property...it then quickly becomes the most unaffordable city in the UK. Homes become houses, houses become property, property becomes capital and capital becomes wealth. And accumulating wealth will always involve luck.
So the answer to the question of why… is nothing… I have done nothing wrong, except being born in the wrong place, at the wrong time, into the wrong system, with an ideology that my hard work will pay off… as I slowly approach middle age I realise that I have an excellent track record of paying off mortgages… except they were always someone else's… and that my hard work of earnings and taxes has gone into sustaining this system of depravity.
Thus I am selling my luck for the chance to have somewhere to call home.
The purchaser of the 'lucky can', can choose to have the can posted or, if they wish, hand delivered by myself. Either option will ensure that the luck may or may not be passed on...
DISCLAIMER: any amount of money from the sale of this item will only ever be used towards the purchase of a home
Please note: there are much more worthy and charitable causes that probably deserve your money