Despite earning £74,000 a year, Tory MP William Wragg has moved in with his parents because he claims he cannot afford to put down a deposit on his own home.
Wragg, who claims to be part of the ‘boomerang generation‘, is the MP for Hazel Grove in Stockport. Coincidentally, just a few months ago I went on a house-hunting trip to Stockport myself because it’s one of the best areas in Manchester for getting a decent amount of house for a reasonable amount of money. When I say ‘reasonable’, really I just mean ‘not-astronomical’.
According to Zoopla, the average property price in Stockport is £212,700. That’s certainly unaffordable for many, but considering it’s also possible to pick up a 2 bedroom house in Stockport for just £100,000, I’m not really sure what Wragg is on about. He’s taking home approximately £4,198.93 a month!
If I earnt his salary, I’d rent a 2 bed terraced house in Stockport for £650, save a deposit while I was there, and be in a home of my own by this time next year. I’d even have cash left over to fully furnish the place.
Let’s imagine Wragg saved just half his salary each month towards a deposit. In the space of 6 months he’d have £12,000. If during this time he also made use of the Torys’ Help to Buy ISA, he’d benefit from an additional £550 from the government.
I don’t want to completely slate Wragg because at the end of the day he’s raising awareness of the diabolical house prices that prospective first-time buyers face.
He said: “I am part of that ‘boomerang generation‘ myself. In a few years hopefully I will have saved up enough for a deposit.
“I know exactly what it is like. I have complete empathy with people in that position. There is no getting away from the fact we face a severe challenge on housing in this country.”
If he can’t afford to buy his own place and has to move in with mum and dad, what hope is there for the rest of us? However, I’m concerned that he’s making things look even worse than they are.
Don’t get me wrong, home ownership is more difficult to achieve than ever before. Due to unreasonable rental costs accompanied by sky-high property prices, first time buyers have never been faced with such a challenge. However, despite what Wragg may lead you to believe, people earning less than £74,000 can certainly become home owners and I’m concerned that when young people hear his story, they’ll automatically assume that home ownership will never be for them.
I suspect Wragg has very high standards and, while a 2 bed property near Stockport’s Edgeley Park football ground would be more than satisfactory for most of us, it just wouldn’t quite cut it for him.