Mark Wadsworth

This is a spare 'blog in case my main 'blog at markwadsworth.blogspot.com isn't working

The new North-South divide: there’s one on every street.

The Daily Mail compares and contrasts two similar families, both with a gross income of £50,000 in three-bed houses, the only difference being that one family lives Up North in a house ‘worth’ £200,000 and the other lives Down South in one ‘worth’ £600,000.

We aren’t told how long ago they bought their houses or how much their outstanding mortgages are – the only clue is that the family Up North only spends ten per cent of their income on mortgage repayments and the family Down South spends forty per cent, so the family Up North lives in the lap of luxury and the one Down South has had to cut back on essentials (like gym membership and Jocasta’s pony).

But isn’t this story played out on every single street in the whole country? Older Baby Boomers have no mortgage at all (unless they were suckered into ‘equity withdrawal’); the average bloke in his mid-to-late forties who bought ten or fifteen years ago will have paid his mortgage down to (say) £40,000 but the recent purchaser next door is saddled with a mortgage of (say) £160,000?

So even if all three earn similar wages, and even though all three live in more or less identical houses, the former groups will be living in relative comfort and the young guy will be struggling.

Just sayin’.

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