No house in the sun for us

Nicola Adam
Nicola Adam

There’s a reason that those TV shows do so well – you know – the ones featuring ordinary-looking but inexplicably well-off people buying houses in the country or the sun with their many multiples of half a million pounds.

They replay relentlessly on certain TV channels, taunting us with their aspirational, largely unobtainable, what might have been but probably won’t lifestyles.


I find myself repeating, how did they make get much money?

Labelled as they are - civil servants, nurses, business people, former armed services – it seems baffling that they have earned their money with careers like many of ours.

To be fair, some have been lucky or talented, some inherited wealth, and some are simply canny.

But most of them are just like us but living in a much better house.

So what went wrong?

A new report goes some way to explaining why generations of haves have now spawned a generation of have-nots.

Men, traditionally, if not fairly, the higher earners, are earning thousands of pounds less than the previous generation due to the changing nature of work, a think tank has suggested.

According to the Resolution Foundation, men are now far more likely to be working in basic service jobs or part-time with lower wages.

By the age of 30, young men have earned £12,500 less on average when compared to those born between 1966 and 1980,

If you add the rapid rise of house prices since then, it all starts to become a bit clearer why some generations are better off than others – and how some have then directly benefited from that inherited wealth.

The result of this reduction of earning power for young men has, on the flip side, reduced the gender pay gap – although not for the right reasons and not because women are proportionally earning more.

Of course other factors are at play in the generational wealth gap – pension reductions, higher living expenses, education, childcare – everything is far more expensive ...

Which is why switching the TV on is the closest many of us will get to a house in the sun or the country pile with an Aga.