The impact of years of booming house prices on potential first-time buyers has been much documented, but until today most of us had never paused to think about what it meant for multi-millionaire footballers. Jonathan Woodgate has changed all that.
Speaking about his recent move to Spurs, the defender has been bemoaning the high price of property in (London).
Woodgate may not be as regular a commentator on the housing market as Fionnuala Earley or Roger Bootle, but he seems to have a good idea of how it should work.
“You just want the right place for you and you want to get it at the right price. You don’t want to end up getting ripped off in any way, do you?
It is expensive for everyone isn’t it? You don’t want to be blowing stupid money on a house.”
Sadly, as many others have found out, things aren’t that easy - particularly in London. According to Rightmove, asking prices are still rising, and in February the average price tag on a home in London broke through the £400,000 barrier for the first time.
This homebuying is an expensive game - even if you are reportedly earning £60,000 a week. Or, as Woodgate puts it:
“You could buy 10 penthouses up north for the price of something down here … House prices are a joke!”
In other related news today Gazza was sectioned under the Mental Health Act in Newcastle. Whether it is related or not to Woodgate’s revelation you can buy 10 penthouses in Newcastle for the price of one in London is not yet known. It could be related to comments by Gazza about the Toon being contenders for the Premier League next season!
I don’t think the point is that he’s struggling. I think the point is that for many people, just because you can afford a place, doesn’t mean you’ll be willing to pay the crazy price.
This is the point that’s often missed. There’s a belief in some quarters that if the banks would jsut open the floodgates and give people more money that house prices could rise indefinitely.
Certinly there are a bunch of people who’ll always borrow as much as possible and pay as much as possible, and apparently not care.
But most people have a limit, and when prices get to a certain level, it doesn’t matter whether you can afford it or not, you won’t pay. Dublin passed that point for me a long time ago, long before the credit crunch.