Miffed that your house is worth less than it once was? Well, we know who you can blame.
It goes like this…
In the four years since the financial crisis hit, political commentators and economic ‘experts’ have waxed on about why/how/who. Why did it happen? How did it happen? Who’s fault is it?
The answer is repetitively explained as burgeoning consumer debt which just got out of control. The sub prime mortgage crisis. And an over heated housing market both here and across the Atlantic as a consequence of banks playing fast and loose with lending policy helping home buyers to push every envelope possible to buy a home. Ridiculous salary multiples. Cashback deals. 125% mortgages. Self certification for the self-employed. And so on.
All of these things have contributed to fuelling the fire of exuberance.
But what started the smouldering in the first place? Why are Joe Public so obsessed with self improvement and showing off their top of the range trinkets to the world? Bigger houses. Bigger cars etc, which all have to be funded almost regardless of means, it seems.
The answer surely lies in our celebrity culture. Newspaper gossip columns, reality TV shows, magazine shoots etc all flaunt those in the public eye with the latest trends as well as the flashest gadgets, accessories and jewels. The buying of success.
There’s even a slang name for dressing with the coolness of a celeb. Something about ‘being Reem’.
So when we see Tulisa in the latest Range Rover with limited edition Dior sunglasses and a pair of jewel encrusted Ugg boots, we want them too. (Or at the least the ladies amongst us do).
A glimpse of Peter Andre in Super Dry or with Burberry iPad under his tattooed arm, triggers a copycat shopping frenzy by aspiring Peterphants.
The consumer boom has inarguably resulted from the aspirations and ambitions of Mr and Mrs UK who want to keep up with the Jones’s to such a degree that they will max out their credit cards, borrow and re-mortgage in order to display the trappings of celebrity wealth.
But then, as we’re all inevitably caught out as the brakes of reality are ultimately applied, the remnants of our delusions lay in a mountain of personal debt secured on house prices that, for now at least, have gone in the same direction as a Premiership footballer’s morals.
The original purveyor of having it all and shoving it in your face was David Beckham. As Beckham became less footballer and more brand, everything he wore, bought and drove became a target for wannabes. Endorsements and sponsorship deals worth millions prove the point. By way of example, Vodafone once paid our David £1m to pretend he used their mobile network; Pepsi £2m to demonstrate his supposed preference for them over Coca Cola and it’s reported that he trousered £3m from Marks and Spencer to promote their DB07 clothing range for boys. Talk about influence. Coersion perhaps?
These deals make us want to buy more ‘phones, drink more pop and wear newer tracksuits. They really do. Indeed DB almost single handedly revived the Pringle brand by casually throwing a piece of knitwear over his shoulder one night and being papped in it. Sales catapulted overnight.
But the yearning for new gear on the back of what those in the public eye deem as cool, has come at a price. The boom in consumer spending and house prices could not continue forever. Eventually, like a footballer’s shortlived career, the fire burns itself out.
And it’s all David Beckham’s fault for starting the thing in the first place. So if you’re a homeowner that is struggling to achieve the price you want for your property…
…blame David bloody Beckham.
Amidst the contention that celebrity excess is to blame for our economic woes, there is a shred of optimism that we can provide. Sell your home using eMoov online estate agents and save money. Our average estate agents fee saving is £3000. That’s a lot of jumpers.