Tuesday 17 October 2017

Scandal of bankers and politicians trying to make you feel guilty if you own your home

'No sooner was the madcap idea of taxing the sale of family homes at a punitive 33pc rate dismissed, then along comes another attempt to send homeowners on a guilt trip'. (stock image)
'No sooner was the madcap idea of taxing the sale of family homes at a punitive 33pc rate dismissed, then along comes another attempt to send homeowners on a guilt trip'. (stock image)
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

If you own a home, then you should feel guilty. How dare you. Don't you know we have a rental and a housing crisis? The best thing you could do is to encourage your children to stop paying exorbitant rents and move back home to allow them save up for a deposit.

You, the homeowner, are not due any rent, by the way. It is your duty to forsake rent to help sort out the national accommodation crisis.

And if you are living in a home then take care - if you will excuse the pun - as officials and Government ministers and officials are considering a levy to force you to rent out the property.

No sooner was the madcap idea of taxing the sale of family homes at a punitive 33pc rate dismissed, then along comes another attempt to send homeowners on a guilt trip.

Bank of Ireland has rightly come under fire for promoting the idea that millennials should move back home to mum and dad to save for a deposit so they can qualify for a mortgage.

Homeowners are the solution to everything, according to the people who created the crisis. That would be the banks and our politicians. Never mind the fact that the housing crisis we now have is a direct consequence of the actions of the likes of Bank of Ireland, which blew up the housing market with imprudent lending.

The bank was rescued by taxpayers precisely because it had helped create a housing bubble. We ended up with too many houses being built.

So banks came close to going to the wall, then pulled in their horns and stopped lending. What a surprise. Builders can't get finance. Buyers can't get the funds together for a deposit and too few houses are built.

So the asking prices of properties surge and rents rise faster than a banker's bonus in the good days. But it seems that Bank of Ireland has forgotten its role in fermenting the accommodation mess.

Some may welcome their children living with them, but many will not. However, they will not feel comfortable expressing that view.

But for many the suggestion makes no practical sense.

When, in the Celtic Tiger days, lenders marketed equity-release products at parents, as a way to fund deposits for their children, there was a storm of protest about the offers.

At the time house prices were racing ahead at an even faster clip than they are now, making it virtually impossible for young people to get the funds together.

The products caused great offence. And those who signed up to them have since found to their cost that they are poor value.

Bankers, like politicians, have short memories.

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