Yet again, Kirstie Allsopp has found herself in hot water. This time making a series of insensitive comments about millennials and their inability to enter the housing market. In a recent interview with The Sunday Times, she stated that she felt “enraged” when people say they can’t afford to buy a house.
Well Kirstie, with the rising house prices, unscrupulous landlords and an average salary that barely accommodates renting alone, what do you expect? It’s like the rich telling people to stop being poor. The absolute senselessness that Allsopp has displayed is not the first time she has been the centre of controversy
In 2014, Allsopp was quoted by The Telegraph saying that women should “should have a baby by the age of 27 and not go to university”. So much for girl power and striving for independence.
Kirstie, who is a presenter of many DIY and home-buying shows like Location, Location, Location, went on to talk about how she bought her first house at 21. Back when the average home cost £51,000. She neglects to mention is that she is the daughter of the Sixth Baron Hindlip, and her parents helped buy this house.
She also suggested millennials should “move back in with their parents for three years and save for a deposit”. This simply ignores how personal circumstances do not allow everybody that luxury. The cost of living is so expensive and ever rising that many people cannot even afford to save.
According to finder.com, as of September 2020, the UK was in a gross debt of £1,685 billion. The average adult debt being £31,798 as of August 2020. Not everyone has a baron as a father or a privileged family to contribute financially.
Allsopp forgets that when she bought it in 1992, average house prices were around 3.4 times the average annual salary. But in 2020, statistics show full time workers in England would spend 7.8 times their annual earnings on a home. I think that cutting back on buying coffee, Netflix subscriptions and avocados might not solve these politically-ridden institutional problems.
Allsopp’s naive and idealistic view oh so boldly asserts anyone can just buy a home if they really, really try, regardless of your social positioning or privilege. I wish life were like the fairy-tale she’s imagined for millennials, rather than the ugly truth.
I think I speak for most millennials when I say, I wouldn’t be living with my parents if I could help it.
Allsopp’s sentiments come across as nothing but a tone-deaf way of telling people to be less poor. Not a girl boss moment. And certainly not a self-proclaimed ‘feminist’ figure if her views are as blind as the Tories are to the problem.
Since facing the backlash of her ignorance from the public, she has seemingly quit twitter “forever”. Or at least for the time being.
What we can takeaway from the controversy is that living is expensive, and nothing is being done about it.
Allsopp projects the same old broken record discourse of older generations: millennials are living too extravagantly and cannot save.
When will there be an acknowledgement that there is a bigger problem at large here. That the housing crisis has received little attention from those in power. Living has gone wrong. At least Allsopp’s ignorance has brought public attention to a subject that those in power have been happy to ignore.