60 Second: The good old housing days




When I first came to the UK from the island of Saints and Scholars in 1974, I was paid the handsome sum of £2,500 (per annum not per month).

After a few years thanks to inflation and other promotions, I was nudging £4,000.

So I went to the building society manager to ask how I stood for a mortgage: “Mr Curtin”, he said, “You don’t stand for a mortgage, you kneel.” He continued: “What you need to do is save a 10 per cent deposit over the next year with the Society and then we will look at you favourably.”

So we scrimped and saved (there were now four of us) and got the deposit together.

Meantime, we had found a lovely ground floor maisonette with a little garden in Harrow at £9,900. The offer was accepted and the building society manager was true to his word.

Then tragedy struck, I was offered a job back in the auld country and I accepted it. This was the worst investment decision of my life.

Their aim is tackling the problem of middle-income workers being exiled to the peripheries of London by unaffordable housing.


But would this happen today? A 27-year old with a family being offered a mortgage?

Among our excellent staff are a number of what are known as ‘millennials’ those born after 1980. Unfortunately, I just missed qualifying. And we employ a number of three first-class young staff.

They have got a problem: their chances of buying a home (despite, in my view, the extortionate salaries they are paid) are almost zero.

And even if they do manage to buy somewhere they are going to pay a huge chunk of their salary on a mortgage.

According to a report by Resolution Foundation, they will spend three times more of their salary than their grandparents – and in worse accommodation. In other words, 12 per cent of their salary compared to their grandparents (me and others) who bought in the 1960s and 1970s.

Even more scary, they will have to save for 19 years to get a deposit compared to 3 years for us lucky folk who bought in the happy hippy days.

And then people wonder why young people are voting Labour?

Have a great weekend


In other news

Curtin&Co are holding an event at this year’s Conservative Conference alongside the Institute of Economic Affairs and the Taxpayers’ Alliance. Andrew Bingham, our latest Associate Director and former MP for High Peak will be speaking at the event. The Rt Hon Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has also been invited. The event starts at 8pm on Sunday 1st October in The Think Tent. It is invitation only so if you wish to attend please email thinktent@taxpayersalliance.com. We look forward to seeing you there!

This week at Curtin&Co

This week our Founder and CEO Tom Curtin gave a presentation at the 2017 Home Builder’s Federation Planning Conference on Wednesday, about the importance of engaging politicians and communities in the planning process. It was an insightful event with an eclectic variety of speakers. Thank you to the Home Builder’s Federation for inviting Curtin&Co to be a part of it.

The week ahead

Strong and stable standards
New rules to strengthen standards for Councilors and mayors

Money well rent
Housing money wasted ‘propping up rents’

No nukes is good news
Most Britons ‘dislike prospect of living near mini nuclear station’

The no home counties?
Affordable homes shortage blights the countryside

And Finally…

Javid the V.U.P. (Very Unimportant Person)

Curtin&Co specialises in the fields of Community Consultation and Political Engagement, especially around development, and Reputation & Crisis Management.

Curtin&Co has grown rapidly to a team of over 20 highly qualified political, community engagement and reputation management specialists, having been founded by Tom Curtin in 2009.  In 2016, Curtin&Co was delighted to be listed in PR Week’s Top 150 Public Relations consultancies at number 86 and in the Top 10 Public Affairs consultancies at number 8; a recognition of the quality of the service and growth achieved.

To find out more visit www.curtinandco.com or call Helen Barrett on 0207 399 2288