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JWT Austerity Index Q2 2014: Property Woes Push Brits to Extremes

Three out of five Britons believe that London is doomed to become ‘a ghetto for the super-rich’. This is one of several provocative findings that have surfaced in JWT’s latest Austerity Index report, revealing the frustrations and fears for the future of a nation still fighting the grip of austerity.

As wages have stagnated and mortgage lending criteria have constricted in the same timeframe, the outlook for aspiring property buyers seems bleak. The advertising agency’s new survey shows that almost half of those yet to mount the property ladder make a direct link between home-ownership and their own self-worth. So as competition rises and affordability dips, housing is becoming a serious and emotive problem in Britain.

JWT’s sixth quarterly report highlights that:

46% feel like less of an accomplished adult because they don’t yet own property
46% of those unable to get onto the property ladder fear for their futures
48% have lost hope that their grandchildren will ever own property in the UK
49% of non-homeowners believe renting is a ‘waste of money’
49% believe that renting will be the only available option for Brits in the future
A huge 60% believe that London property will soon be beyond the reach for the average person, becoming a ghetto for only the most affluent
This boiling-pot of anxiety and tensions is condensing into a hard-line stance on housing market regulation, and a backlash is finding its target in foreign immigrants, ‘transplants’ and investors. Over a third would even make it illegal for non-nationals to own property in the UK.

Marie Stafford, Planning Foresight Director at JWT London, says:

“The significance of property in the population’s psyche is somewhat exceptional to the UK, compared to our neighbours in Europe where renting is the norm. The divide between the haves and have-nots is getting keener, and nowhere is this felt more strongly than in the property market.”

The full report is available to download here.