Kirstie Allsopp says young people could afford a home if they stopped buying luxuries

The only reason young people cannot afford to buy a home is because they waste money on petty luxuries, according to an opinionated TV housing guru.

The property presenter Kirstie Allsopp has told how she gets “enraged” when young people claim they can’t afford a home and says they can if they give up luxuries and move north.

The Location, Location, Location presenter, who has a house in North Devon, suggests they give up luxuries such as their gym membership and foreign holidays and look at cheaper areas.

She added some graduates and school leavers could consider moving back in with their parents.

According to the Sunday Timesthe 50-year-old is said to have bought her first property with family help at the age of 21, when the average house price in the UK was about £51,000.

Adjusted for inflation, that is £112,000, compared with £255,556 for the average home today.

“When I bought my first property, going abroad, the EasyJet, coffee, gym, Netflix lifestyle didn’t exist,” she said.

“I used to walk to work with a sandwich. And on payday I’d go for a pizza, and to a movie, and buy a lipstick.

“Interest rates were 15 per cent, I was earning £11,500 a year.”

Kirstie added that while interest rates were much lower today, there were new “drains on the finances of the young homebuyer”.

She said things such as film streaming services, overseas holidays and regular gym visits were taken as standard parts of their lifestyle by today’s young.

She said: “I do think you have to ask yourself what your degree is giving you. Could you get a job at 18, stay at home with [your] parents for three years, and save every single penny, enough for a deposit?”

Allsopp said that she had seen many first-time buyers on her show make “enormous sacrifices” to own a home.

“I don’t want to believe those people who can’t do it,” she said.

“But there are loads of people who can do it and don’t. It’s hard. We’ve fallen into the trap of saying it’s impossible for everybody.

“I was brought up to believe owning your home is the be all and end all and in a way I still believe that … It’s about where you can buy, not if you can buy. There is an issue around the desire to make those sacrifices.”

Allsopp, who has presented Location, Location, Location with Phil Spencer since 2000, recommends the young considering moving north.

“It is difficult: if you were born down south, and have family down south, my life is down south, but if we want a family house we have to move,” she said.

“If I had any roots further north and I was trying to buy [I’d do it].”

The program recently worked with a young woman who had moved back with her parents during lockdown.

Kirstie said: “She realized she loved Newcastle and bought a great flat for £160,000, a two-bed maisonette with a garden. Where else can you do that?”

A first-time buyer who gave up a Starbucks latte every weekday, an ordinary Netflix subscription, gym membership, and two return flights to Europe a year on EasyJet would save about £1,600 a year.

However, if they moved into their parents’ house and did not pay rent, they could save on average £7,000 a year.

The average deposit for a first-time buyer is £59,000, according to Halifax.

To save that, you would need to forgo your Starbucks latte, Netflix subscription, gym membership and EasyJet flights for 37 years.

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