We find ourselves near the end of January already – it’s scary how quickly 2020 is going!
Meanwhile in Australia, their fires are being replaced by golf ball sized hail stones as the wild weather continues and Trump and Greta trade blows about climate change at Davos. But for me the most interesting news is Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, moving out of the country to Canada.
I have a place in my heart for Princes Harry and William after what happened to their mother. I think Harry is showing bravery in standing up for what he believes in. I say good on him and Meghan, I respect their decision.
I would love to move out of my parents’ house tomorrow and get my own place closer to work and college, I mean that would be the crème de le crème for me, but the truth is, there is a lot to consider when making this type of move.
I recently spoke to my Grandma about house prices and she ultimately said the housing market is crippling no matter where you are today. Back in 1971 her and my Grandad paid £17,000 for the house that she still lives in today in Wroughton in Wiltshire. This house in today’s market is worth easily past £900,000.
That is a fortune – yet back then they bought it for a very, very small amount. The money they paid for a house of that calibre is flabbergasting. This is an example of how the market has gone cuckoo over the years. Very few people, let along young people, could afford that home now.
And it’s not just house prices. You are not only going to need a mortgage but also electricity, broadband, water, gas…it all piles up. And if the buying market is hard, then just look at the rental market. The average rent per month in the Oxford area is £1,015a month! That’s a lot of money and that’s an increase of 2.1% from last year. People simply can’t afford to rent or buy.
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The housing crisis is one of the challenges the plan is trying to solve. From my perspective we need more homes, we need more affordability especially, and we don’t want our communities to die out because prices are too high for the younger generation to stay in the area they grew up in. This is why it’s crucial to listen to everything the millennials have to say, they are what matters as they are the ones having to deal with this situation.
Which is why this week for me personally has been superb. We went to Abingdon & Witney College to go and speak to a load of student reps about the Oxfordshire Plan 2050 The responses were brilliant. I felt there was a lot of good engagement with the students and my idea for a “speed-dating” style activity actually worked out perfectly. This isn’t the only one I will be attending but for a first-time, my opinion is I did well.. I’m happy with how it went and for me the recognition of my idea being used is encouraging I look forward to doing more of these – engagement is such a huge part of life and I think there have been areas that I have learnt a lot in by being part of the sessions.
Hope you all have a smashing week, see you all next week for the next segment,